Published: Tue, April 17, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Green Party calls for decriminalisation of cannabis in Ireland with new policy

Green Party calls for decriminalisation of cannabis in Ireland with new policy

The Federal Government has rejected the Greens plan to legalise marijuana, with Health Minister Greg Hunt calling it a "gateway drug" which will inevitably lead users to use ice and heroin - a claim which will certainly be news to the gentle stoners of Australia.

But Labor has no plans to legalise recreational cannabis, with leader Bill Shorten saying the party wanted to focus on removing regulatory road blocks for medicinal use.

As part of the plan, an agency would be created to be the sole wholesaler of cannabis, as well as the outlet responsible for issuing licenses for prospective growers and retailers.

"We can take this out of the hands of drug dealers and crime gangs", Senator Di Natale told reporters in Sydney on Tuesday. She said she hopes the change encourages more doctors to participate.

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Recently, several states in the U.S. have legalised recreational marijuana - in California this has amounted to a billion dollar industry. Legal weed would be sold to adults via licensed shops, and would be subject to both sales and excise taxes. "The very nature of law enforcement, when you have it focused on this sort of "use and possess' crime or activity, is that it will discriminate against people that are most vulnerable", he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)".

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) quickly announced their "significant reservations" over the Greens' proposal, however, arguing that cannabis poses potential health risks for those aged under 21.

But despite these concerns, the AMA is still convinced that cannabis prohibition has been a failure. That report is due to be delivered this year.

Individual Australian territories criminalized recreational cannabis use between the 1920s and 1950s, but many of these territories decriminalized minor cannabis offenses in the early 2000s. "That made men and women feel like they had to act in secret for doing something as normal as taking medicine or having a glass of wine in the evening".

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Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm said his party had long-held the position of legalising marijuana, criticising the 80,000 cannabis-related arrests each year as a waste of police resources.

"We've got to have a much more tightly controlled and regulated environment".

This is the view of the Green Party's Galway West candidate, Pauline O'Reilly, who was speaking following the party's launch of a new policy document on the decriminalisation of cannabis.

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