Detaining cannabis users costs UK taxpayers almost $23 million

The British Liberal Democrats party has sent a freedom of information request to every police force. after criticizing the expensive approach to dealing with cannabis possession, considered a crime in the UK

British taxpayers have paid almost $23 million to cover the cost of police detaining cannabis users in the past five years, The Times reported on Monday, citing information from the Metropolitan Police.

The detainees were held in police custody for at least 12 hours or more than a day on 30,000 occasions. Detainees would be arrested for the possession of the drug, considered illegal in the UK, the report said.

It would cost the police about $760 to keep a detainee in custody for 12 hours, it added.  The costs include meals and staff wages among others.

The figures were revealed following a freedom of information request to every police force by Vince Cable, head of the British Liberal Democrats Party.  The Liberal Democrats sparked uproar after criticizing what they described as an expensive approach to dealing with the crime.

In May, the Liberal Democrats have added legalizing marijuana to their election platform.

A man smokes a cannabis cigarette at a legalize cannabis tea party. This was outside the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain October 10, 2017. (Image via Reuters)
A man smokes a cannabis cigarette at a legalize cannabis tea party. This was outside the Houses of Parliament, in London, Britain October 10, 2017. (Image via Reuters)

While cannabis is illegal in the UK, strains lower in THC – the principal psychoactive constituent of marijuana – have been used industrially for over a thousand years for fibre, oil, and seeds.

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