Greens leader Richard Di Natale's backs cannabis decriminalisation

Greens leader Richard Di Natale's backs cannabis decriminalisation

"On behalf of myself, co-founder Steve LeBlanc, and everyone at Green Relief, we're truly excited about being able to provide cannabis oil to our patients", says Warren Bravo, CEO of Green Relief.

'We need to protect the young and the vulnerable, especially those with mental health issues, ' he said.

Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation president Alex Wodak welcomed the announcement, saying banning cannabis had not reduced its use or availability, and yet had "distracted police from following up more serious crimes, harmed a lot of young people and helped make some criminals rich".

The Green Party announced a new policy position which suggests Ireland should decriminalise possessing and growing cannabis for personal use as well as the introduction of Dutch-style coffee shops.

"This is an exciting day, as it represents a significant milestone for our company but even more so for our patients", Bravo says.

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.

All over the world, more and more drug-aware citizens are subscribing to the belief that marijuana use should be treated as a public health issue, rather than a criminal issue.

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Arguing that the war on drugs had failed, Senator Di Natale said Australia's approach to illicit drugs was an "unmitigated disaster" and it was time for real reform.

"It's time Australia joined them and legalised cannabis for adult use", he said.

"The ridiculous Greens argument that we should give unrestricted access to drugs that are prohibited applies equally to ice and heroin, and should strike fear into the heart of every parent". The Australian Greens have promised this bill will be in parliament by the end of 2018.

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

The Greens leader, a former drug and alcohol doctor, pointed to a recent poll showing 55 per cent of Australians believed cannabis should be regulated and taxed like alcohol or tobacco.

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.

Tasmania allows medical cannabis in limited circumstances where conventional treatment has been unsuccessful, as does Western Australia, South Australia, the NT and the ACT.

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