A cannabis plant is pictured in London, 08 October 2007. Cannabis is known as marijuana or ganja in its herbal form and hashish in its resinous form. AFP PHOTO/LEON NEAL (Photo credit should read Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

Britain should follow the lead of several states in the U.S. and legalize marijuana, according to a report backed by several U.K. lawmakers.
The Adam Smith Institute, a free-market think tank, says the U.K. government should recognize that legalization “is the only workable solution to the problems of crime and addiction” in the country. The paper asserts that Britain’s cannabis policy a “messy patchwork of legislation” and calls for the government to follow in the footsteps of America—which saw an additional four states legalize recreational marijuana in November.
Former Deputy Prime Minster Nick Clegg is among the cross-party group of politicians to have backed the report, which states that the U.K. cannabis market could be worth some $8.5 billion and provide the government up to $1.3 billion in tax revenues each year. Also, there are currently 1,363 people incarcerated for marijuana offenses in the U.K., the report noted.
“British politicians need to open …