The Greens have introduced a Bill into the South Australian Parliament that would, if passed by both houses, legalise cannabis for adult use with regulation of the resultant legal industry through a Licensing Agency.
The South Australian Cannabis Licensing Agency would establish oversight and administration of commercial distribution and sales and distribution in a manner similar to that of alcohol. Protections would be ensured to prohibit sales to minors and restrictions would apply to advertising and places of consumption. The Bill also allows for personal ‘home grow’ of up to 6 plants for non-commercial purposes with a provision to allow for compassionate access to more plants.
Greens MLC Tammy Franks intends to put the Bill to a cross party inquiry which she hopes will ‘dispel myths and build consensus for reform’.
Quotes attributable to Tammy Franks MLC:
“One in three Australians have tried cannabis even though it is illegal. Prohibition is a pretence.
“Far too many have been criminalised for their use of cannabis under this failed prohibition approach. In the most egregious cases they have been criminalised for seeking to use that cannabis as a medicine.
“The Greens SA Bill envisions a South Australia where ‘that weed’ that grows so well in our climate and that historically has been demonised is instead harvested to create wealth. Where cannabis profits are directed into our health system and cannabis users are diverted away from our criminal justice system.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us how damaging false rhetoric about illness can be. South Australia deserves leadership based on facts, not fear. It is time South Australian politicians conceded the so called ‘war on drugs’ and a prohibition approach has failed. That Government ‘war on drugs’ is a war on their own people. When it comes to cannabis, the war on drugs is often a war on sick people, disabled people, and people desperate to get out of pain.
“It doesn’t have to be this way. Legalising cannabis has brought in significant tax revenue overseas and medicinal cannabis gets people out of pain or controls their symptoms so that they can live their best lives. We should be seizing this opportunity to take money out of the pockets of organised crime and put it instead towards the public good and prosperity for our state.