It's one of the oldest questions of law of all time: stoners to the left of us, squares to the right - but MPs will be debating whether to legalise the production, sale and use of cannabis in Parliament in a month's time.
The move comes after an e-petition, started by student James Owen, reached over 200,000 signatures. Renowned pro-Cannabis MP Paul Flynn, who represents Labour in Newport West and has campaigned for reform for over 25 years, will lead the debate in Westminster Hall on 12 October.
However, don't get your hopes up just yet. Owen has said that he's not hopeful that anything will change, commenting: “I’m glad that it’s got this far and can just take its process. I’d be more hopeful if Jeremy Corbyn gets the leadership of the Labour party, but it seems to me that the current government are willing to ignore the views of 200,000-plus people.”
He is probably right to be pessimistic, given that the government has already said that it has no plans to legalise cannabis, as a change in the law “would not address the harm to individuals and communities”.
Peter Reynolds, leader of Clear UK, Britain's largest pro-reform group, backed the choice of Flynn, saying “He’s a man of tremendous integrity and I think he has a great deal of respect in the house, although some regard him as a bit of an eccentric." However, he has also speculated that whips may pressure Conservative MPs to avoid the debate. Nonetheless, he stated that: “It’s a war of attrition. The strength of our case is inarguable, our arguments are irrefutable and they are being acted on and proven throughout the world. No matter how reticent and reactionary the UK government are we will grind them down.”
Apropos of nothing, here's some Musical Youth.