Greens want to legalise cannabis for adult use

          Marijuana-based drug gets positive review from US agency

NATION-WORLD Marijuana-based drug gets positive review from US agency

This would be well above and beyond the current legislation around cannabis products, which more or less constitutes extremely limited medical use in certain states like New South Wales and Victoria.

Figures show nearly seven million Australians have used cannabis.

"It's time Australia joined them", he said.

The party has also called for the Misuse of Drugs act to be amended, individuals to be permitted to grow up to two cannabis plants in their home for personal use, and for access to cannabis-based medicines that can be used under a supervised system similar to that now in Germany. "The risk of graduating to ice or to heroin from extended marijuana use is real and documented", Hunt told reporters. "We do not believe it is safe, responsible or something which should be allowed".

The minor party wants to redefine cannabis as a legal substance, with licences issued for its production and sale.

Health Minister Simon Harris has announced plans to establish a "compassionate access programme" for cannabis where the drug would be made available to patients with specific conditions.

"Cannabis accounts for most illicit drug arrests across Australia and each year cannabis consumption and arrests are growing", he said.

It would also act as the single wholesaler for cannabis - purchasing cannabis from producers and selling it in plain packaging to retail stores. This philosophy stands at the centre of the Greens' argument.

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Up to six plants could be grown for personal use.

"Prohibition has failed. Using cannabis remains illegal, but this has not stopped Australians from using it".

However, the negative health impact of the drug have been described as minimal in the world's most comprehensive study into marijuana which was released previous year by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

In its proposed policy, the party has requested that it no longer be classed as a criminal offence if a person over the age of 18 is in possession of less than five grams of cannabis.

Former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer backed the Greens' policy, slamming the so-called "war on drugs" as an abysmal failure.

The Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation's Alex Wodak said banning cannabis had distracted police from following up more serious crimes and helped make some criminals rich.

The Greens said the plan is expected to raise in the order of hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the Federal Budget, part of which would fund treatment, education, and other harm reduction programs.

Dr Di Natale said the push to legalise cannabis would change the conversation from criminal to health.

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