Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Galway Greens call for decriminalisation of Cannabis

Galway Greens call for decriminalisation of Cannabis

The Greens are the first party with seats in parliament to call for full cannabis legalisation in the country, The Age reports.

'When marijuana is legalized and society acknowledges that the drug can be enjoyed safely... it undercuts the stigma of danger that is so attractive to teenagers desperate to prove themselves to their peers.

Greens leader Richard Di Natale said Monday Australia's approach to drugs is an "unmitigated disaster", and it's time for that to change.

"It's time Australia joined them", he said.

Calling upon Di Natale to retract his policy statement, Hunt fell back on standard prohibitionist tropes. "The risk of graduating to ice or to heroin from extended marijuana use is real and documented", Hunt told reporters. "We do not believe it is safe, responsible or something which should be allowed".

Not everyone is against the idea, with the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation welcoming the announcement. "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".

It would also act as the single wholesaler for cannabis - purchasing cannabis from producers and selling it in plain packaging to retail stores.

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Australians would be able to grow up to six plants at home for personal use under the plan.

As 29 American states have decriminalised weed, with eight fully legalising it for recreational use, not one state has seen a rise in marijuana use.

He said the Greens had rehashed an existing policy, which was the equivalent of "political click-bait". People in industries "known to perform routine drug testing on employees" - i.e., health care and social assistance, or mining, oil and gas - posted lower prevalences of 7.4% and 5.2%, respectively.

He added that people are taking cannabis, whether it is legal or not, and introducing a legalised system that undermines gangland crime would be far more effective.

"Polls have consistently shown that Australians would like to see cannabis taxed and regulated".

He added: 'Our policy comes from an aspiration for harm reduction.

Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm said his party had long-held the position of legalising marijuana, criticising the 80,000 cannabis-related arrests each year as a waste of police resources. This philosophy stands at the centre of the Greens' argument.

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