In the Australian Capital Territory and South Australia, it is legal to grow and possess small amounts of cannabis for recreational use. Legalisation would bring in a significant amount of money that could be poured into government priorities like hospitals, roads and education.
But jumping straight from a criminalised policy towards full legalisation might be too quick for some voters. A more moderate approach based on harm reduction and best practice regulation might be more appealing to them.
The Greens’ Bill
The Greens’ Bill proposes to legalise cannabis for personal use, regulated by a commonwealth agency. This would include the licensing, production and retailing of cannabis. It also includes setting up a fund to support research into medicinal cannabis. The federal government is opposed to the proposal, but it is unlikely to be able to block its passage through the Senate.
A growing number of countries are removing restrictions on the use of marijuana. In a recent opinion poll, around 30% of Australians said they supported the idea of legalisation. The most supportive group were the young (18-24 years old) who were more than twice as likely to say they supported it.
According to a report by the New South Wales Crime Commission, the cost of enforcing Australia’s current drug laws is $1.7 billion a year. Two-thirds of this is attributed to the imprisonment of people for minor offences. However, experts say that decriminalisation and legalisation could reduce these costs.
Under the proposed legislation, doctors will be able to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients for treatment of a range of conditions. The product would have to be manufactured under stringent quality and safety controls. It will be available in capsules, tinctures and cannabis oil. Patients will also be allowed to grow their own medicinal cannabis plants at home, as long as they comply with the regulations.
The Greens’ bill also has provisions to prevent ministers from moving into industry jobs, as well as banning gifts and donations from companies with a commonwealth contract or grant. It will also make it easier for civil society groups to lobby politicians on issues. The Australian Democracy Network and Human Rights Law Centre have supported the Greens’ bill.
Shoebridge says the party’s bill will make it a “great deal more difficult for big business to interfere in our politics”. However, some people are not convinced that the Greens can win enough votes to pass the legislation. The Green Farmers’ co-founder Tom Varga is one of them. He believes that the infighting is a sign of “too much ego and not enough thinking about the end user”. He says that it will take the courage of “a few members to stand up and cross the floor” when the bill comes to a vote in the lower house.
Decriminalisation is not the same as legalisation, and many people conflate the two concepts. This leads to confusion about what is being proposed, which may explain why politicians are hesitating to proceed down this path. Decriminalisation is a way to reduce penalties for drug use, but it does not remove the requirement that users must obey the law. It also does not allow the commercial sale of cannabis, and it can still be dangerous to drive while under the influence.
Rather, decriminalisation allows police to focus on the larger problem of illicit drug trafficking and supply, and it gives states and territories the option to move from criminal penalties to civil penalties, such as fines (as in South Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory). It can also lead to the creation of diversion programs, where offenders are directed toward education or treatment.
The major harms associated with drug use are not related to the actual drugs themselves, but the fact that they are illegal. For example, having a criminal record for possession of drugs that are only used for personal use can damage a person’s career prospects and make it harder to find housing or employment. It is also a significant financial burden for low-income groups, particularly families of young people who are arrested on drug charges.
As the number of people using marijuana and other illicit drugs has risen, some have called for it to be decriminalised or legalized. In some countries, including Portugal, decriminalization has not led to a rise in usage rates. However, a regulated market would reduce the demand for illicit drugs.
In addition, it could save money for the government, as law enforcement is expensive and many police resources are spent on drug-related matters. A regulated market will also reduce the size of the black market for these products, as there would be no need to produce them clandestinely.
A regulated market could also help to protect people’s health by ensuring that products are safe and of high quality. One of the main obstacles to legalisation is the cost of producing a good-quality product at a price that will appeal to consumers. Some fear that if the price is too low, it will encourage drug dealers to re-enter the market.
Cannabis is a natural substance that is used by many people for medicinal purposes. It contains several different chemicals, called cannabinoids, that interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system. These can ease pain, help with depression and anxiety, and even reduce nausea.
However, it is important to note that the medicinal form of marijuana should be prescribed by a doctor. This is because it can contain psychoactive chemicals that can affect mental health. It also needs to be carefully regulated by the government to ensure that it is safe for patients.
The medical use of cannabis is permitted in Australia as part of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) program. The TGA regulates the manufacture and supply of medicinal marijuana products for specific conditions, such as cancer and epilepsy. These products must meet strict safety standards to be approved by the TGA. In addition, they must be sold under the supervision of a pharmacist.
In the TGA’s program, medicinal marijuana is cultivated by qualified growers. It is then tested and certified by the TGA before being distributed to doctors for prescribing to their patients. In this way, the TGA ensures that the medicine is of a high quality and that it does not cause adverse side effects. In contrast, illicit drugs are often sourced from the black market and can be more dangerous.
Despite this, some politicians still remain skeptical about legalizing cannabis. The Australian Medical Association, for example, has come out against the Greens’ bill. The AMA is concerned that cannabis would become more popular among young people and that this could lead to an increase in addiction rates. It is also worried that legalization may lead to higher levels of crime.
Another issue is the cost of enforcing drug laws. It is estimated that enforcing Australia’s current drug laws costs about $1.7 billion per year. Around two-thirds of this cost comes from imprisoning people for simple cannabis offences. Many experts believe that decriminalisation or legalization of cannabis would reduce these costs.
Medicinal marijuana has been legalized in some countries, including Uruguay and Catalonia. In addition, some states in the United States have legalized it. However, it is still illegal in most parts of the world, including in South Australia. Nevertheless, the public is increasingly supportive of legalising cannabis. According to a recent opinion poll, 30% of Australians think that the drug should be made legal. The support for legalisation is highest among those aged 18-24.
The state government’s major tax announcement last week has caused a great deal of anger and confusion amongst South Australians. The new levy is set to raise $370 million annually and comes on top of the federal government’s Major Bank Levy that will raise $6.2 billion nationally over four years. The new tax is expected to impact the profitability of Australia’s largest banks, which are already facing rising costs and uncertainty about the long-term health of the economy.
The debate has also focused on the issue of tax reform in general, with some politicians advocating a cut in corporate taxes. Others have argued that a goods and services tax would not be unfair if it were used to fund essential services like public hospitals. Regardless of how the debate plays out, it has highlighted the importance of having a robust democracy where citizens can participate in debates about taxation policy.
While some politicians have defended the new tax, others have criticised it as an act of economic vandalism. The National Party leader, Nick Xenophon, accused the government of trying to “make the wealthy richer and the poor poorer” and warned that it could have negative impacts on investment, jobs, and consumer confidence.
Meanwhile, the Premier has defended the new tax by stressing that SA is experiencing record economic growth and that the Liberals are delivering on their promises to the state. He has also slammed Labor for its mismanagement of the economy, particularly the closure of the Repat Health Precinct, and says that Peter Malinauskas will only worsen the situation if he is elected as leader.
In a sign of how contentious this debate has become, the premier and opposition leader have also gone head-to-head in a live TV debate. This was the first time that the two leaders have met face-to-face since the campaign started. While the audience was relatively small, the debate has been a significant test for the two political leaders. A recent poll found that 30% of undecided voters nominated Xenophon as the winner of the debate, with Marshall and Weatherill close behind.