Home Affairs Committee - Drugs: Breaking the CycleWritten evidence submitted by Victor Hamilton [DP198]

Over the next nine years or so, before I reach the age of retirement, God willing that I live that long, I will receive what some will perceive as an obscene amount of benefit from the state. I am justifiably entitled to this benefit, which is paid to me because of my disability and illness.

I receive a combined payment of Earning Support Allowance and Disability Living Allowance totalling about £150 per week or £7,500 per year. On top of this I have my rent allowance of £6,000 per year, a total of £13,500 per year or £121,500 over the next nine years.

I would much rather be working for a living. Over the past decade I have presented a number of business ideas to the Government, ideas that I believe are viable and if implemented would offer significant savings and gains to our country. I have already registered the trading name, the Happy Hog Coffee-shop Company.

I made my first submission to the Government in 2000 in which I suggested that the potential revenue from a legally regulated cannabis market would be £4–6 billion per year. The latest research indicates that today this could be up to £9.3 billion per year.

I want to establish a business involved in dispensing cannabis to both medicinal and adult recreational users. According to the latest research, each parliamentary constituency has an average of 3,400 regular users of cannabis. If I was successful in winning the business of just 10% of the market, 340 people, and was able to earn an average net profit of just £12 per month from each customer, I would earn an income of £4,080 per month or £48,960 per year. In three years I would earn well in excess of the state benefit that I am likely to receive over the next nine years.

I estimate that to supply such a customer base at an average monthly consumption of 20g each, I would need to produce around 2 kilos of cannabis per week. I calculate this would require me to employ two or three staff and that similar opportunities would exist for perhaps another six or seven businesses in each constituency throughout the country.

A copy of my latest submission to the Government, entitled “The New Homefront” can be downloaded at: http://cannabiscampaign.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/the-new-homefront.pdf

Victor Hamilton

September 2012

Prepared 8th December 2012