Protesters prepare for smoking marijuana during a demonstration in support for legalization of marijuana in Medellin, May 2, 2015. Reuters/Fredy Builes

Cannabis enthusiasts in Britain are keenly awaiting the upcoming debate by MPs on Oct. 12 for legalising its production, sale and consumption in the country. This follows a public petition, calling for a change in laws, collecting more than 200,000 signatures.

Paul Flynn, Labour MP, who is associated with pro-cannabis reform campaigners, will be leading the debate in Westminster Hall. However, the David Cameron government has made its stand clear that it has no plans to legalise cannabis, as any change in the law “would not address the harm to individuals and communities”.

Huge public response

However, the debate has kindled fresh hopes about lifting the ban in the medium to long term. James Owen, a 25-year old University student, who started the petition said massive public backing for the petition, shown in more than 125,000 signatures in five days should open the eyes of the government, The Guardian reported.

“I’m glad that it’s got this far and can just take its process,” the economics student said.

The pro-cannabis lawmaker had been virulently campaigning for reforms on cannabis laws, for more than 25 years and sponsored the launch of the report, “How to Regulate Cannabis in Britain”, drafted by ‘Clear UK’, Britain’s biggest pro-reform group. Peter Reynolds, leader of Clear, hailed Flynn’s initiatives and described him as a “great bloke."

But he too has limited hopes over the debate’s probable outcome, and he is speculating that government whips would pressure Conservative MPs to skip it. But Reynolds called on members to lobby their MPs.

Positive signal

In the U.K, there are many cannabis social clubs bringing the users together in growing, selling and buying cannabis on a non-profit basis. This offers the chance to bypass unscrupulous dealers and to know the places to come together and smoke.

Max, one of the founders of a leading club said, people are feeling oppressed by the ban.

“Prohibition is making people feel isolated in their own homes," he said.

His position is that cannabis decriminalization is long overdue. “It's the feeling of being oppressed that does the damage," Max added.

Despite the stonewalling from the government, pro cannabis experts are seeing a positive signal in reigniting the cannabis debate as a step towards potential decriminalisation.

Steve Rolles, senior analyst at Transform -- a think tank told Vice News that the conversation surrounding cannabis reform is evolving well.

“What we have at the moment is an evolution of the conversation, moving it away from a group of people sharing a spliff or cannabis cigarette and talking about how it should be decriminalized on a higher level,” Rolles added.

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