On June 20th, the leaders of the Australian states of Victoria, New South Wales and Western Australia simultaneously introduced bills promoting adult cannabis use.
Cannabis remains illegal under Australian federal law, but a growing number of city and state governments are legalizing recreational cannabis use, creating a checkered pattern in cannabis laws. Does what you see in the US look familiar?
Cannabis Legalization Victoria MP Rachel Payne, Cannabis Legalization New South Wales MP Jeremy Buckingham and Cannabis Legalization Washington MP Dr Brian Walker have identified a three-pronged approach to ending marijuana bans in these states. submitted bills to their respective legislatures.
The Cannabis Individual Adult Use Control Act of 2023 would allow adults who legally possess cannabis to gift cannabis to another adult within those jurisdictions. Only allow access to those over the age of 18 and make no change to the crime of selling cannabis.
The bill, which would allow adults to own and grow small amounts of cannabis at home, is similar to legislation in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) that came into force in 2020.
A landmark bill was passed by the ACT Legislative Assembly, paving the way for individuals over the age of 18 to possess and cultivate cannabis starting January 31, 2020. The ACT became the first state or territory in the country to legalize adult cannabis use. Others followed.
Cannabis Legalization Australia was formerly the Help to End the Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party. Its policy focuses on re-legalizing cannabis for personal, medical and industrial use in Australia.
Marijuana lawmakers react
Several cannabis legalization lawmakers applauded the bill’s announcement, saying they were just doing what voters wanted.
Victorian Cannabis Legislator David Ettershank Said ABC Radio Melbourne Australians agree that now is the time to reform cannabis laws. “The majority of Victoria supports cannabis regulation and a huge number of Victorians consume cannabis on a regular basis,” he said.
Legalize cannabis New South Wales MP Jeremy Buckingham, a former Green MP, said this was the nation’s first coordinated attempt to legalize cannabis.
“This bill … would allow households to grow up to six plants and then share that cannabis (by gifting) or trade seeds,” Buckingham said. . Said.
“We already have the Greens and the Liberal Democrats supporting our move … and now it’s time for Labor to move in Washington, Victoria, New South Wales and across the country,” he said. said.
Guardian report This is the first time the three state governments have worked together.
Rachel Payne, Victoria’s Cannabis Legalization MP, said the bill would put the state government “on the right side of history when it comes to cannabis law reform”.
What adult cannabis use means for Australia
Legalizing marijuana could bring significant economic benefits to Australia.
Western Australia in particular may benefit from legal cannabis sales, according to new research.
ABC Radio Perth report The study, by researchers at the University of Western Australia, found that cannabis legalization could bring Western Australia $243.5 million annually in its first five years.
For the time being, cannabis remains illegal in Australia, and penalties vary from state to state. in Western Australia, according to Guardian, “[f]Fines range from $2,000 to $20,000 and up to two years in prison,” but “Possession of up to 10g will be controlled by the police.” [law enforcement] You can order the person for counseling sessions (one for adults and two for children) at your discretion. ”
New legislation, also introduced in three more states, could help change that situation.