Lawmakers in the United Kingdom must consider debating the merits of marijuana after more than 175,000 people signed a petition seeking to legalize the production, use and sale of cannabis.
While the petition is the most preliminary step in the fight for legalization in the UK, it has raised hopes that officials will begin debating the issues seriously.
The online proposal is the second most-popular behind only a petition for a demand to debate a no-confidence motion for the UK’s health secretary. Any petition garnering more than 100,000 signatures must be considered for debate by the House of Commons Petitions Committee, according to Bloomberg News.
The proposal claims that legalizing marijuana would bring in $1.4 billion in tax revenues annually and create 10,000 jobs.
The timing of the petition may interest U.S. and Canadian marijuana companies that have their eyes set on overseas expansion.
Two Canadian companies, MedReleaf and Tweed Marijuana, both have said they’re looking at overseas expansion. MedReleaf said it is considering expanding to Europe and South America while Tweed, which recently acquired Bedrocan Canada, said it is looking to Brazil and Chile.