Cloud over Greens’ push for legal pot
A PUSH by the Greens to legalise cannabis appears up in smoke after the Turnbull Government and federal Opposition rejected the plan.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale has called for reforms to the existing prohibition, saying the country’s approach to illicit drugs was an “unmitigated disaster”.
But Health Minister Greg Hunt called on the party to withdraw its suggestion, arguing it risks the health of Australians.
“Marijuana is a gateway drug. The risk of graduating to ice or to heroin from extended marijuana use is real and documented,” he said.
But Senator Di Natale argues governments around the world are realising that prohibition of cannabis causes more harm than it prevents. “It’s time Australia joined them,” he said.
The Greens want to redefine cannabis as a legal substance, with licences issued for its production and sale.
Former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer backed the Greens’ policy, slamming the socalled “war on drugs” as an abysmal failure. But Labor has no plans to legalise recreational cannabis.