Skip navigation

The smart way to fight organised crime. Legalise cannabis.

This article for the Daily Telegraph and other outlets reached an estimated 750,000 Australians. We have no time to waste.

Around school drop-off time last week, a car drove up to the entrance of a Fairfield Heights unit block and five shots were fired. A 20-year-old man died.

A couple of days later, a 40-year-old man was shot in the early hours of the morning in Guildford from a car that was parked in the street.

Just another week of unending crime mayhem in Sydney.

This comes on the back of the formation of a special taskforce last year promising to stop the shootings.

Yet the killings haven’t stopped. It’s clear that we need to come up with new solutions.

NSW Premier Chris Minns has agreed that organised crimes costs taxpayers billions of dollars and that the war on our streets is about control of the illicit drug market and the wealth that it offers.

Is there a smarter solution? Yes, there is. Legalise cannabis.

In 2021, one of the most senior police officers in NSW, Chief Inspector Jason Weinstein, called cannabis “the jet fuel of organised crime”.

“It’s one of the most widely used drugs in Australia and the profitability allows organised crime to generate significant income to fund the importation of other drugs from overseas,” he said.

As we saw when the United States prohibited alcohol in the 1920s, you create an illegal business model and vicious cycle of killing.

Once you legalise and responsibly regulate a market, the killing stops.

If you take away the market, and instead tax and regulate it responsibly, the money stops filling the coffers of organised crime and starts flowing to schools, hospitals and police.

Yet we still hear opponents telling us legalisation will bring a slew of bad consequences.

If only we had a case study – an area within NSW – where cannabis had already been responsibly legalised, so we could test these consequences.

And we do. In January 2020, it became legal in the ACT to grow up to four cannabis plants per household and possess 50 grams of dry cannabis.

This is the reform that the Legalise Cannabis Party wants to introduce in NSW.

In the 12 months following legalisation, cannabis offences fell by 90 per cent, drug driving offences remained steady, there was no increase in cannabis-related hospital presentations. Most importantly, cannabis use remained steady.

The latest National Drug Strategy Household Survey – published last week – showed that cannabis use in the ACT was not only steady, but actually lower than the rest of Australia.

So the law and order argument stacks up, the health argument stacks up.

What we need is political leadership.

The same survey told us last week that since 2019, more people support cannabis legalisation than oppose it – and that figure is growing by the day.

It also revealed that the proportion of people who believed that possession of cannabis should not be a criminal offence has reached an all-time high of 80 per cent.

There is no political cost. Just political and economic gain.

Every week that Premier Chris Minns sits on his hands, the crime gangs get richer.

The time for delay and excuses is over. We should legalise and responsibly regulate cannabis now.

Continue Reading

Read More