MPs will be forced to debate the legalisation of marijuana in the House of Commons after an e-petition has been signed by over 100,000 people in the UK.
The official petition, created by James Richard Owen, calls for the legalisation of the production, sale and use of cannabis, and has gained more than 120,000 signatures in the four days since it was created.
The statement on the petition reads:
Legalising cannabis could bring in £900m in taxes every year, save £400m on policing cannabis and create over 10,000 new jobs.
Because the petition, launched on Tuesday morning, has reached more than 100,000 signatures, ministers must now consider debating the issue in the Commons.
This news comes just days after the Durham police commissioner effectively decriminalised cannabis in the region, in the wake of increasingly scarce police resources.
The potential debate in parliament has been welcomed and celebrated by drug reform campaigners, although the mood of the Conservatives is likely to be less receptive given that one of the first actions of the new government was to introduce a bill that would automatically ban any new “psychoactive substance”.
But could those Tory plans now go up in smoke after the popularity of this petition? Only time will tell…