Greens want to legalise cannabis for adult use

NATION-WORLD    
          Marijuana-based drug gets positive review from US agency

'Regulating cannabis will give government more control and increase government revenue, which can be used to fund drug prevention and treatment'.

Greens leader Dr Richard Di Natale said the Greens saw drug use as a health issue, not a criminal issue.

"If somebody is found with small amounts of cannabis for personal use, the primary response for me isn't a law enforcement response, it's a public response", says Professor Steve Allsop of the National Drug Research Institute at Curtin University.

'The plan will establish an Australian Cannabis Agency to issue licenses for production and sale of cannabis, monitor and enforce license conditions and review and monitor the regulatory scheme to ensure it is functioning properly, ' he said. "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".

Mr Moran explained: 'Ordinary people would be allowed to have up to five grams of cannabis in their possession or to use.

The Greens want to redefine cannabis as a legal substance, with licences issued for its production and sale.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Hunt said the Greens' cannabis policy would mean it was "open slather for a highly unsafe and addictive drug" which he said was also a "gateway to even more risky drugs".

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Green Party leader Eamon Ryan toldTheJournal.ie that the creation of a coffee-shop culture in Ireland might prompt cannabis-takers to use the drug in a regulated environment. It would also make this agency the single wholesaler for the drug, selling on to licensed retailers. This philosophy stands at the centre of the Greens' argument.

Individuals would be permitted six plants for their own personal use.

However, the negative health impact of the drug have been described as minimal in the world's most comprehensive study into marijuana which was released past year by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

"In a poll a year ago, 55% of Australians said they believe cannabis should be taxed and regulated like alcohol or tobacco". The Australian Greens have promised this bill will be in parliament by the end of 2018.

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

But the Australian Medical Association has "significant reservations" about the proposal.

The drug would be available at retail stores in plain packages to people aged over 18, in a plan the party hopes will raise tax for drug treatment programs.

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