Australia legalise cannabis

Australia Could Legalise Cannabis This Year, According to New Advice

Australia could follow countries such as Canada, Germany, Jamaica, Mexico, South Africa and at least 19 states in the United States in decriminalising recreational Marijuana or Cannabis use, if the Greens’ justice spokesperson, David Shoebridge, has his way. The Greens Senator for NSW states that he’s received legal advice from constitutional lawyer Patrick Keyzer and is paving a way for new federal laws on cannabis legalisation in Australia.

Shoebridge expects to release a draft bill later this year for consultation, meaning the amendments could arrive as soon as this year.

Related: Australians Can Now Buy CBD Oil Over the Counter

Could Marijuana Actually Become ‘Legal’ in Australia?

According to constitutional and human rights lawyer and dean of the Thomas More Law School at the Australian Catholic University, Patrick Keyzer, there’s potential. His advice directly relates to section 51(xviii) of Part V – Powers of the Parliament constitutional law that states the Federal Government has the legislative powers of the parliament in regards to copyrights, patents of inventions and designs, and trademarks.

In other words, plant varieties. Keyzer says “(the Federal Government) could regulate cannabis strains as plant varieties and cause them to be listed in a schedule in respect of which the commonwealth has exclusive regulatory control.

In a string of tweets, David Shoebridge, states “We can legalise it!” followed by a thread of his party plans that state, amongst other things, “If you are an adult and want to chill out with cannabis, you should be able to without the threat of police, violence or imprisonment – without worrying whether you could be sent to prison for smoking a joint with friends.”

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Fast Facts About Cannabis Use in Australia

A survey by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare offered insights into cannabis use in Australia, finding.

  • 36% of people aged 14 and over had used cannabis in their lifetime.
  • 11.6% had used cannabis in the prior 12 months.
  • People aged 20–29 continue to be the most likely to use cannabis but this declined from 29% in 2001 to 24% in 2019.
  • Males aged 14 and over were more likely to have recently used cannabis (14.7%) than females (8.6%).

Cannabis is used more frequently than other drugs such as ecstasy and cocaine. According to the data, 37% of people who used cannabis did so as often as weekly or more, compared with only 6.7% and 4.5% of ecstasy and cocaine users respectively. Males were more likely than females to use cannabis weekly (41% compared with 31%) (AIHW 2020).

The chart below compares the lifetime and recent use of cannabis from people aged 14 and over, by age and sex, from 2001 to 2019.

Table 1

Image: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

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Ben McKimm
Journalist - Automotive & Tech

Ben McKimm

Ben lives in Sydney, Australia. He has a Bachelor's Degree (Media, Technology and the Law) from Macquarie University (2020). Outside of his studies, he has spent the last decade heavily involved in the automotive, technology and fashion world. Turning his passion and expertise into a Journalist position at Man of Many where he continues to write about everything that interests the modern man. Conducting car reviews on both the road and track, hands-on reviews of cutting-edge technology and employing a vast knowledge in the space of fashion and sneakers to his work. One day he hopes to own his own brand.