New push to legalise cannabis and sell it in shops

Marijuana plants are shown for sale at Harborside marijuana dispensary in Oakland Calif. in January 2018. A new bipartisan bill would push the Department of Veterans Affairs to increase their research into medical marijuana to help veterans. (Mathew Sum

New push to legalise cannabis and sell it in shops

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.

"Marijuana is a gateway drug".

Greens leader Richard Di Natale has called to completely end the prohibition of marijuana use in Australia, describing it as an "unmitigated disaster".

"The tough-on-drugs approach doesn't stop people from using it", Senator Di Natale said.

He further commented that he didn't care about the possible tax revenue, and didn't want to put the mental health of Australians at risk.

In Australia, the United States, and all over the world, the war on drugs has caused more than its fair share of harm, and it seems that finally, things are changing.

"It's time Australia joined them", he said.

It will call for a regulated cannabis market with retail shops to be established.

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Australians would be able to grow up to six plants at home for personal use under the plan.

The party wants marijuana to be available for recreational use for anyone over the age of 18.

He said the Greens had rehashed an existing policy, which was the equivalent of "political click-bait".

Western Australia's state Labor government was the first to rule out decriminalising or legalising cannabis on Tuesday.

Senator Di Natale 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.

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.

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. This philosophy stands at the centre of the Greens' argument.

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