A recent petition demanding the British Government initiate the cannabis legalization debate has collected enough signatures for force Parliament into action. In comparison, a US petition launched from the White Houses’ official “We the People” website has barely put a dent in the prohibitionist model.
According to the UK government and Parliament petitions page, a move to legalize the “production, sale and use of cannabis” has already collected over 190,000 signatures, well over the 100,000 required to earn the issue a legitimate debate within the House of Commons. The proposal, which was drafted by a 25-year-old economics student at Aberystwyth University, suggests that legalizing cannabis across the UK would generate $800 million in tax revenue, save the country $400 million in police resources, and lend to the creation of thousands of new jobs.
The petition is short and to the point, consisting of two simple paragraphs explaining why cannabis has been illegal and why it shouldn’t be.
Supporters must now wait for the Petitions Committee to take up the issue in September. If Parliament decides to debate the issue, which according to the website “almost always” happens for petitions reaching 100,000 signatures, it is conceivable that British lawmakers could begin discussing the end of prohibition long before the United States.