Greens call for cannabis use legalisation

Remigio Civitarese
Aprile 17, 2018

And while Australia has made some steps forward in legalising medicinal cannabis - it's now legal in a highly restricted capacity in all states and territories - this is the first time a major party has gone out, guns blazing, to just legalise weed already.

Alex Wodak, president of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation, welcomed the announcement.

The proposed Australian Cannabis Agency would impose strict penalties for the sale of unlicensed cannabis, sale of cannabis to under age consumers, and other breaches.

'Banning cannabis hasn't reduced its use or availability yet it has distracted police from following up more serious crimes, harmed a lot of young people and helped make some criminals rich, ' Dr Wodak said.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale said the country's approach to illicit drugs was an "unmitigated disaster" and it was time for real reform.

After the health ministers' meeting on Friday, Hunt announced that all states and territories had now agreed to a NSW and commonwealth joint trial to provide faster access to medicinal cannabis. "Nearly seven million Australians have tried or used cannabis socially but right now just having a small amount of cannabis in your possession could get you a criminal record", said Di Natale.

Australian Medical Association vice-president Tony Bartone told the Herald Sun he did not support the personal use of cannabis and legalising its use would send the wrong message.

"Using cannabis remains illegal, but this has not stopped Australians from using it", Di Natale said.

Di Natale, a former doctor, said that he had personally "seen that the "tough on drugs" approach causes enormous harm,"The Guardian reports".

"It drives people away from getting help when they need it and exposes them to a unsafe black market", Senator Di Natale said. The Greens see drug use as a health issue, not a criminal one.

As part of the plan, an agency would be created to be the sole wholesaler of cannabis, as well as the outlet responsible for issuing licenses for prospective growers and retailers.

Numerous the party's proposed rules for recreational marijuana are similar to those that already apply to the sale of tobacco and alcohol products.

Anyone who buys cannabis would need to show ID to prove they're over 18, and all advertising of cannabis products would be banned.

The plan is to redefine cannabis as a legal substance in a regulated market, redirecting resources into treatment.

People would also be allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants at home for their personal use under the new policy, which was announced by Richard Di Natale on Monday. Currently, residents of the ACT can have up to two cannabis plants.

GST would apply to all cannabis sales.

It would then be able to tax the sale of legal weed, generating millions for the Federal Budget and injecting that back into harm reduction programs.

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