In the United Kingdom, people can gather signatures for petitions and force a debate in Parliament for whatever topic the signatures were gathered for. One was started for cannabis legalization, and in just a handful of days, the 100,000 signature threshold was met. There is a deadline of January 2016 to gather the needed signatures, but as of this blog post, not only had the goal been achieved already, it was smashed with over 175k total signatures gathered and climbing. Below is the language of the petition:
Legalising cannabis could bring in £900m in taxes every year, save £400m on policing cannabis and create over 10,000 new jobs.
A substance that is safer than alcohol, and has many uses. It is believed to have been used by humans for over 4000 years, being made illegal in the UK in 1925.
You can add your signature to the petition at the link above. The petition was started by a 25 year old economics student. Below is more information about his effort, via The Guardian:
The man who started the petition, James Owen, an economics student at Aberystwyth University, told the Guardian he felt people in the UK were ready for cannabis law reform.
“With Uruguay legalising, a lot of states in the US legalising, government cuts, people don’t want to spend the money on policing something they find is harmless,” the 25-year-old said.
“There’s roughly 3 million adult [cannabis]smokers in the UK and I don’t think it’s right for the government to be criminalising such a large section of society.”
Jason Reed, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (Leap) UK, said the petition by Owen, who is not linked to any drug reform activist groups, had come at the right time.
“It’s definitely an issue that people are now taking seriously because before now people saw cannabis reform as something that was for a certain demographic,” he said.
Now we wait for Parliament to pick up the petition for debate, which is expected to happen in September. It’s my understanding that this is the second largest petition of all time in the UK. If so, that’s very cool, and considering that the petition is still gathering signatures, I think there’s a chance that it could be number one when all is said and done. That would be very cool. If you live int he UK, sign the petition, and tell everyone else that you know to do the same!