Little Hope for Cannabis Legalization in UK Anytime Soon

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Fat chance.

That’s essentially how government officials in the United Kingdom responded to a petition calling for the legalization of marijuana.

“Substantial scientific evidence shows cannabis is a harmful drug that can damage human health,” the government’s formal response to the petition reads. “There are no plans to legalize cannabis as it would not address the harm to individuals and communities. Cannabis can unquestionably cause harm to individuals and society.”

More than 200,000 people signed an online petition asking the government to “make the production, sale and use of cannabis legal,” noting that doing so could create 10,000 new jobs, bring in nearly $1.5 billion in taxes and save the country money on law enforcement costs. Any petition garnering more than 100,000 signatures must be considered for debate by the House of Commons Petitions Committee.

But the government replied that despite potential cost savings and a boost in tax revenue, legalizing would bring its own “administrative, compliance and law enforcement” costs. It also contended that there has been a “long downward trend in drug use” over the last decade, including cannabis use.