By Renee Bogatko, Image Credit – Eric Limon/123rf.com
A push by the Australian Greens to legalise cannabis looks set to fail, after being rejected by the Turnbull government.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale wants over 18’s to be able to grow up to six plants in their backyard and buy cannabis from approved stores.
Senator Di Natale said the war on drugs isn’t working and the prohibition of cannabis causes more harm than it prevents.
But Health Minister Greg Hunt urged the party to withdraw its suggestion, arguing it’d have serious health implications.
“Marijuana is a gateway drug. The risk of graduating to ice or heroin from extended marijuana use is real and documented,” he said.
“We do not believe it is safe, responsible or something which should be allowed.”
While, medical groups have also slammed the proposal.
“This is a substance that has the potential for significant health issues that have significant harm and we need to ensure that everyone is aware of those consequences,” Dr Tony Bartone from the Australian Medical Association said.
Not everyone is against the idea, with the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation welcoming the announcement.
“Banning cannabis hasn’t reduced its use or availability, yet it has distracted police from following up more serious crimes, harmed a lot of young people and helped make some criminals rich,” President Alex Wodak said.
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