Caroline Lucas MP’s drug petition reaches 100k signatures

MPs forced to look at drug laws

By Greg de Hoedt

A Downing Street online petition calling for an Impact Assessment on the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 has finally reached its target of 100,000 signatories.

The petition, put forward by Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, calls for an Impact Assessment to see if the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA71) is cost effective and value for money. In times of austerity can we afford policies that are failing? Is anyone checking to see if the current system has been too pricey for what it has delivered?

The petition:

“Drug related harms and the costs to society remain high in Britain, with a growing consensus that the current enforcement led approach is not working. In recent months the independent UK Drugs Policy Commission has highlighted the fact that Government is spending around £3 billion a year on a policy that is often self-defeating; and the Home Affairs Select Committee has concluded Government action is needed “now, more than ever” to consider all the alternatives to our failing drug laws and learn from countries that have adopted a more evidence based approach.”

Caroline Lucas MP, forces MPs to discuss drug policy in Britain.

Green MP Caroline Lucas succeeds in gaining the necessary 100,000 signatures to call for an independent assessment of the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act will be debated in Parliament.

The petition had only reached 50,000 signatures in its last week before the deadline and it was looking like it was doomed to fail. However, in the last few days, before the petition was due to close, a staggering 60,000+ people signed, passing it through the required 100,000 threshold. This means a backbench committee of MPs will have to look at the issue and decide whether it should be discussed in Parliament.

The rise in numbers in the last week can be attributed in part to widespread sharing on social media and celebrity endorsement from Russell Brand and the website Avaaz.

Caroline Lucas said: “The Misuse of Drugs Act is hopelessly out of date. It has never been reviewed, or undergone a cost-benefit analysis. In England and Wales alone, an estimated £3billion a year is spent fighting the war on drugs, to little effect. Over half of the people in prison are thought to have serious drug problems, and yet we continue to fail to treat drug addiction as the serious health problem it is.

“I’m absolutely delighted that so many people have sent a clear message to the Government that we need a fresh approach. Today we have achieved an enormous step towards an evidence-based drugs strategy.”

NORML UK congratulates Caroline Lucas and everyone who signed it for the success with the important petition.

Reaching the target for this e-petition was important, not only to get it reviewed by MPs but to send a broader message that there is a great calling for this issue to be discussed in the UK. If it had failed it would have been evidence to those against law reform that we do not need an Impact Assessment.

We need to support the MPs that are prepared to stand up and support cannabis law reform. It is our hope the success of this petition will encourage more MPs to support Caroline Lucas in her campaign to fight for sensible drug policies.

Petition by Green MP, Caroline Lucas, passes necessary 100k threshold to force backbench MPs to discuss drugs policy in the UK.

Caroline Lucas MP’s drug petition passes 100,000 signatories.

Petitioning played a huge part in the US states that now have recreational and medical cannabis laws. Although we do not have voter ballot initiatives in the UK, the success of this e-petition shows we can influence lawmakers to at least debate the issue.

The petition at time of publishing this article had just passed 115,600, so that’s past the necessary 100k, however, if you have not yet signed, you can still do so online at Downing Street’s official web site; the more the merrier. According to the web site of No 10, only four open petitions listed have passed the 100k threshold.

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16 Comments

  1. Great to see so many signed, change is well overdue. 1 question I gotta ask is this going to be debated in this parliament r is it gonna be passed off until after the next election?

  2. This is quite an achievement.It now needs to be backed up by setting up campaign materials to contact each and every MP in the country to ask them to attend the debate.Firstly,Caroline Lucas should try and get the main chamber booked-debates in Westminster Hall have secondary status.We need cross party support of all political parties,not forgetting Wales,Northern Ireland and Scotland.
    If we stay strong and united,we are on the cusp of real and lasting change.

  3. The Suffering and Persecution of Cannabis / Hemp must end now.TO long we have waited This WAR must END. I Am a PLANT that wants to be FREE like other plants. This is Important to the world Let my People GO ,LET MY PEOPLE GROW

  4. This is wonderful news. These petition sites need to get more involved. If they want to help change the world they should get involved with drug reform…it affects us all. Happy dnf

  5. As much as I commend Mrs Lucus and all who have made this petition such a success I can’t see it going any further. Its gona be dropped by the back benchers. Best we can do is make another petition, then another then another and then hope it gets media attention then maybe the boys in the commons will give it 10 mins. But only to enforce the status Que.

    Well done Mrs Lucus but the system you work for is the fault. The’ll be no reform (of any kind), reform will only come when the present system is reformed.

    • We’re working on reforming the ‘system that is the the problem’ as well. We are in favour of Proportional Representation and Jenny Jones has entered the house of Lords with the intention of getting rid of it. We are a small party with no corporate sponsors, which leaves us free to tell the truth but with little money to spread the word. We rely on people power, sites like this, people like you and steadfastly doing what we believe to be best for the common good.

      We need pressure put on the other parties, and votes at election time to carry our message.

      And it’s Dr. Caroline Lucas 😉

  6. Trouble is with this if it ever gets to stage needed is fact if the plant gets legalized then Gov’t makes money off of it in taxes and one Big Pharma start messing around with the original plant it then becomes SYNTHETIC which is not good for human body.

    Also did you know that in UK there has been a Cancer Act since 1938, and the Marijuana Plant contains 100’s of anti Cancer compounds when juiced plus essential amino acids, essential fatty acids, essential cannabinoid acids. See Dr William Courtney on The Importance of Drinking Rather Than Smoking Cannabis.

    There is also Scientific evidence out there as to curing brain tumour, recurrent glioblastoma multiforme.

    Also there is Scientific evidence for Marijuana plant improving efficiency of Mitochondria and Removes Damaged Brain Cells, because we have cannabinoid receptors throughout our body.

    Now you can see why it is outlawed and CANCER IS A HUGE MONEY MAKING INDUSTRY, aginst the peoples. There is an Cannabis International Foundation set up by Dr William Courtney, and Caroline Lucas would do well to make contact with him for back up to strengthen her case.

    In Canary Islands households are allowed two plants.

    Once heated though the THC becomes psychoactive and loses it’s healing power and in some people can be allergic, not suit them but not when juiced by cold pressing.

    Big Pharma is a giant to fight off and the Law needs to keep out of it,but then none of the powers that be want us to be healthy or well they want us sick with shortened miserable lives because the so called health service is nothing but a sham for illness not wellness because it is a huge Corporation of big business far removed from it’s natural roots.

    Queen Victoria used Cannabis Tincture for childbirth pain. So you can see they want it for themselves.

    Peoples need naturally occurring multi vitamins and minerals too but land has been contaminated with Pesticides.

    • “In Canary Islands households are allowed two plants.”…I used to live there ,and if that is true now then I am heading back…Sun , your own Legal weed and its in europe, makes the islands one of the best places on earth IMO

      • Also on Lanzarote there is an annual Cannabis Cup Competition,i guess to see who can grow the largest plant!

        And on Teneriffe there is a Cannabis Club that can be joined and in a way controlled growing but not interfered with by official bodies.

        Happy healthy days!!

  7. I have a feeling that the time may be right and the petition leans on a door that (if not yet open) is ready to open. If things continue to change at the pace they are in America then it is a cheap popularity win for politicians and a money maker/saver as well. We are asking politicians to spend less money on something and they have a natural tendency towards such things even if others bribe them not to. One day it will all just miraculously make sense to the politicians the way it has done in other countries – that day will be when the politicians decide it is a good thing for them (not necessarily a good thing for us). Unlikely as it seems I now believe that day may be very close.

  8. Yes Mark it is true about the two plants per household and I learned this from Lanzarote Information website a while ago. Although there was one naughty greedy man who grew about 58 plants on his roof top terrace and did get arrested! I think Caroline Lucas would do well to make contact with Dr William Courtney though as he founded Cannabis Internatial and is expert on drinking/juicing of it,cold pressing is best, rather than smoking.

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