Drug push: Greens call for cannabis to be legalised for adult use in Australia | Poll

PLAN: Cannabis.
PLAN: Cannabis.

Orange-based Greens have called for the legalisation of cannabis in Australia.

Orange City councillor Stephen Nugent and the Greens candidate at the 2016 Orange state byelection Janelle Baylis backed calls by Greens leader Dr Richard Di Natale for legalisation.

Dr Di Natale announced the policy this week.

“The war on drugs has failed,” he said. 

“Governments around the world are realising that prohibition of cannabis causes more harm than it prevents.”

Cr Nugent said legalising cannabis would help regulate the quality of the drug which he said had health benefits.

“It is better to treat it as a public health issue rather than treating it as a criminal issue,” he said.

He said legalising, or regulating, would also allow the drug to be taxed with revenue spent on health issues.

“It is a controversial issue,” he said.

“There would certainly be people right across the community who would strongly oppose the idea of legalising another drug.

“[But] there would be a significant percentage of the population in Orange who would say ‘yes.’

“I’m not saying legalising it would be without issues.”

Ms Baylis, who is a nurse, said research showed there were health benefits in using cannabis to help treat some conditions.

“It has been helping people with anxiety and epilepsy and people going through chemotherapy to help with nausea and vomiting,” she said.

Ms Baylis said the drug had active agents which could help the treatment of the side-effects and symptoms of some illnesses.

Under the Greens policy the Australian Cannabis Agency would be set up to issue licences and monitor the production and sale of cannabis.

People would also be able to grow up to six cannabis plants for personal use.