HomeNewsAustralia's Legalising Cannabis Bill To Be Put To Senate Vote

Australia’s Legalising Cannabis Bill To Be Put To Senate Vote

The Australian Greens’ attempt to legalise cannabis in the country has failed to clear a significant hurdle – but they aren’t done yet.

In August 2023, Greens Senator David Shoebridge introduced the party’s Legalising Cannabis Bill 2023. Among various reforms including establishing a national agency for regulation, adults would be able to grow up to six cannabis plants at home without requiring formal permission, and be permitted to make products from those plants for personal consumption.

The Bill was put before the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee for its recommendations and 202 submissions were lodged r from various companies, groups and individuals during a feedback period. The Committee reported back last week and the news, depending on what side of the fence you’re on, wasn’t good. The committee recommended that the Senate not pass it.

“The Senate Committee Inquiry into our Legalising Cannabis Bill 2023 released its official report on Friday, and despite overwhelming evidence in support of our bill, Labor and Coalition Senators said no to legalising cannabis,” stated the Greens.

They aren’t giving up.

“The Greens will now bring the bill to a vote in the Senate,” the party states. “Everyone in the chamber should vote for this reform, not for more policing and more punishment.”

The Greens will be mobilising supporters of the bill to apply pressure to their local members of parliament. The party highlights an excerpt from The National Drug Strategy 2017-26, which stated:

“The illegal status of cannabis has created a thriving, unregulated black market, incurring substantial health and social costs.”

A dissenting report from Mr. Shoebridge states his Bill is the first and best chance to create a single national cannabis market in Australia that will create jobs, alleviate pressure on the justice system, be strictly regulated, divert revenue from organised crime, help fund essential services and give consumers more choice.

“Millions of Australians want this. Millions more people around the world already have this and again, we see the Labor Party and the Coalition just say ‘no’,” says Mr. Shoebridge in his report. “This is why people are so sick of politics as usual, controlled by a handful of well‑connected corporate interests, their mates in the media, and politicians with all the imagination of a brick.”

Terry Lassitenaz
Terry Lassitenaz writes exclusively for Hemp Gazette and has done so since the site launched in 2015. He has a special interest in the political arena relating to medical cannabis, particularly in Australia, and addressing the many myths surrounding this incredibly useful plant. You can contact Terry here.

Most Popular