In just four days, more than 125,000 signatures were collected on a petition calling for the total legalization of cannabis in the United Kingdom. Only 100,000 signatures are required to force action from parliament.
James Owen, a student at Aberystwyth University, is responsible for starting the petition, which calls for parliament to “make the production, sale and use of cannabis legal.” He lists several benefits that would come as a result of legalization.
“Legalizing cannabis could bring in £900m in taxes every year, save £400m on policing cannabis and create over 10,000 jobs.”
Owen and other proponents believe that not only would the measure bring a boost to the economy, but that it would also lead to a reduction in the use of dangerous drugs. Clear warning labels and forbidding sales to minors, along with other measures, would help to prevent misuse.
Advocates for the legalization of marijuana cite the growing popularity of the product for use in relief of medical symptoms and for personal reasons. What once was viewed as a product that only a certain demographic used is now supported by people of all ages and circumstances.
A committee in the House of Commons will debate the issue, and then decide if further action should be taken by parliament. If fully adopted, the UK would join other places that have legalized marijuana for recreational use, including Uruguay and several states in the US.