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Lawyers get behind legalisation

Read this great summary of why legalisation is both sensible - and inevitable.

Sparking up a reefer in the privacy of your own living room has been legal in Canberra since 31 January 2020. And residents of the Australian Capital Territory have been able to grow their own cannabis plants lawfully at home as well, over the last three years.

But the funny thing is, no one ever mentions it.

Indeed, it would seem many Australians are unaware of the law change in this nation’s seat of government, and that would be because it hasn’t caused any harms, it hasn’t seen a spike in crime rates and instead, it’s meant less needless criminalisation of the general population.

That’s the message the Legal Cannabis Party was putting across, when it recently gave notice in the three state parliaments where it currently occupies upper house seats that it will be introducing laws to make lawful and regulate the personal use and possession of cannabis.

Legalise Cannabis NSW MLC Jeremy Buckingham announced the pending Drug Misuse and Trafficking Amendment (Regulation of Personal Adult Use of Cannabis) Bill 2023 on 20 June, while his colleagues in Victoria and Western Australia did the same.

And this pricked up the ears of many, not solely because having one Legalise Cannabis MLC in NSW and two in each of the other states highlights the support for such laws, but also because the ACT reform was passed by a Labor-Greens government, and Labor is in power in each of these states.

“This is an idea whose time has come,” Buckingham told Sydney Criminal Lawyers. “Finally, we seem to be moving away from the war on drugs rhetoric to something more humane, more sensible and workable.”

“No doubt legalisation or decriminalisation of cannabis in an increasing number of jurisdictions has created a sense of inevitability,” the Legalise Cannabis NSW MLC added.

Twenty two US states and the capital Washington DC have now legalised the plant, as have the entire nations of Uruguay, Canada, Malta and Thailand, whilst in South Africa and Mexico, the highest courts have upheld the right of citizens to consume cannabis at home.

Huge community outcry over here led the Turnbull government to legalise the production and use of medicinal cannabis in October 2016. And though there have been accessibility hiccups along the way, and the roadside drug testing issue continues, those using the medicine only benefit from it.

And Buckingham underscored that “judging by the intense media interest created by introducing cannabis bills in three states on the first day, that sense of inevitability is now beyond doubt”.

“It’s now not a matter of ‘if’ but of ‘when’,” he added.

Read the complete article at Sydney Criminal Lawyers by clicking here.


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