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Drugs

A Petition Has Forced British Politicians to Consider Pot Legalization

The House of Commons will have a debate to consider freeing the weed in September.
July 27, 2015, 5:20pm
Photo by Jake Lewis

Read: An Area of England Has Basically Just Decriminalized Weed

In excellent news for the salted snacks industry, a petition to legalize cannabis in the UK on Parliament's website has garnered over 150,000 signatures, which makes it very likely that it will be debated in the House of Commons.

The petition, which urges the government to "Make the production, sale, and use of cannabis legal," argues that legalization could potentially "bring in £900 million [$1.4 billion] in taxes every year, save £400 million [$623 million] on policing cannabis and create over 10,000 new jobs."

It reminds us that cannabis was only outlawed in the UK in 1925, and the stoner adage of "It's safer than alcohol"—a phrase you may have seen on your ballot paper at the last election—is also present. Its success means MPs will consider debating the move in September.

Read: Is Legalizing Marijuana Going to Make Americans Stupid?

The revision of British laws has been in the news plenty of late, with the recent Psychoactive Substances bill coming under heavy criticism from all corners, even the House of Lords (though this perhaps seems less surprising given revelations in this weekend's tabloids). Last week, a police and crime commissioner in Durham, North East England added to the decriminalization argument by basically giving smokers the green light to grow their own weed, as long as they aren't "too blatant" about it.

When will Parliament realize the British people just want to get high, eat a big crisp sandwich, and watch those funny GI Joe PSAs well into the night? Hopefully this petition will go some distance to making that penny drop.