Today Legalise Cannabis Victoria will unveil their Regulation of Personal (Adult Use) of Cannabis Bill in the Victorian Parliament.
The Bill will legalise the personal consumption of cannabis in Victoria, allow adults to grow up to 6 plants at home and possess up to 50g of cannabis. This bill will also allow sharing between adults, which is expected to massively reduce illicit drug trafficking by organised crime. Importantly, the Bill will not allow people under 18 to access or be supplied with cannabis.
The tide is turning for cannabis law reform in Australia.
“We already have a cannabis market; it just happens to be illicit and unregulated one that costs governments tens of millions in law enforcement and prohibition. Let’s pull the rug out from under the illicit market and achieve better public-health outcomes,” Legalise Cannabis Victoria MP, Rachel Payne said.
Over one third of Victorian adults have consumed cannabis in their lifetime. More young people consume cannabis than tobacco. Decades of prohibition have not succeeded in denting demand or supply; it is failed policy.
Victorians are still being jailed simply for possessing cannabis. In the three years to June 2019 over 1100 people have been jailed for possession of cannabis.
— Rachel Payne MP (@rachelpayneMP) October 31, 2023
In Victoria, in the year to September 2021, there were almost 9,000 people charged with cannabis use and possession offences – accounting for 92 per cent of all cannabis offences in Victoria during that period.
“Our regulation bill is modest and will significantly reduce the burden on the criminal justice system,” Legalise Cannabis Victorian MP David Ettershank said.
“It is time to let adults be adults and grow and consume cannabis in the privacy of their own homes,” Mr Ettershank added.
The cost of enforcement is massive. Nationally in 2015-16, more than $1.7 billion was spent on cannabis related law enforcement, including: $1.1 billion on imprisonment, $475 million on police, $62 million on courts, $52 million on legal aid and prosecution, and $25 million on community corrections. There is a better way.
There is a safer way of regulating cannabis, which is why leading economies around the world are moving to legalise cannabis consumption.
Since the introduction of similar reform in the ACT, arrests for simple cannabis offences have decreased by 90% and there has been no reported increase in cannabis use.
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