Health Care

Greens unveil plans for legalisation of recreational cannabis

Greens unveil plans for legalisation of recreational cannabis

"The tough-on-drugs approach doesn't stop people from using it", Senator Di Natale said.

The Greens have proposed full legalisation of cannabis - including for recreational use - with a new government agency to act as the single wholesaler of plain-packaged cannabis.

In Australia, the U.S., and all over the world, the war on drugs has caused more than its fair share of harm, and it seems that finally, things are changing.

The legislation represents the first time that a major political party in Australia has called for cannabis legalization.

"Our plan to create a legal market for cannabis production and sale will reduce the risks, bust the business model of criminal dealers and syndicates and protect young people from unfair criminal prosecutions", he said.

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Party spokesman Oliver Moran explained: "Ordinary people would be allowed to have up to five grams of cannabis in their possession or to use".

Former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer backed the Greens' policy, slamming the so-called "war on drugs" as an abysmal failure.

"This is a substance that has the potential for significant health issues that have significant harm and we need to ensure that everyone is aware of those consequences", Dr Tony Bartone from the Australian Medical Association said.

Di Natale said: "The Greens see drug use as a health issue, not a criminal issue". Illicit drugs were responsible for 2.3% of the disease burden, of which cannabis accounted for only 7%. Mr. Natale and fellow Greens have lashed out against harsh criminal sentences & the failed approach of prohibition in Australia.

Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt dismissed the initiative and labeled marijuana a "gateway drug".

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The Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation's Alex Wodak said banning cannabis had distracted police from following up more serious crimes and helped make some criminals rich.

Legalising cannabis also has the backing of the Australian public, with a 2017 poll of 1,000 people showing that 55 percent of Aussies support legalisation, with 26 percent opposing.

He expects the plan to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, helping fund treatment, education and other harm reduction programs.

Recently, several states in the USA have legalised recreational marijuana - in California this has amounted to a billion dollar industry.

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