Australia: Senate Hearings On Recreational Cannabis Start Today

Pederstrian TV Australia

The Senate Inquiry is holding its first hearing in Brisbane and will get advice from a number of experts as it looks at the potential legalisation of cannabis for recreational use.

The first round of hearings will include discussions from drug reform advocates, the Australian Medical Association, the Australian Lawyers Alliance and government officials.

It was initiated by a bill introduced in August last year by Greens senator David Shoebridge, after receiving advice that it was constitutionally possible to legalise weed on a federal level.

“At least 40% of Australians have used cannabis and any law that makes almost half of us criminals needs to go,” he said at the time.

“We’ve been told to wait for cannabis law reform for too long, even when it’s obvious that the majority of harm caused is by policing and the war on drugs, not the plant.”

If passed, the bill would legalise weed for recreational purposes and allow people to grow their own plants at home.

It would also see a national agency set up that would register cannabis strains, regulate people who grew the plant and allow the operation of cannabis cafes.

A pay day for the government could also be on the table, with legislation estimated to could bring in $28 billion in tax revenue over the first ten years.

However, not all groups support the bill, with the Australian Medical Association (AMA) saying the legislation would send the wrong message and could harm communities.

“The AMA is concerned that if cannabis were legalised for recreational purposes, it may increase health and social-related harms. This in turn may increase demand on an already overstretched healthcare system,” it said in its submission.

It said that although it supported use being treated as a health issue, it was also concerned cannabis cafes could normalise use and were not restricted in location.

The hearings continue and a final report is due by 31st May.


See Australian Greens Party who are playing a big part in the hearings

Legalising Cannabis Bill 2023

The Legalising Cannabis Bill 2023 would legalise cannabis for adult recreational use in Australia.

The deadline for submissions is 3 November 2023.

The reporting date is 31 May 2024.

Submissions must directly address the bill. Submissions that do not directly address the bill will not be accepted.

The committee cannot accept anonymous submissions. However, you may request that your submission be accepted as confidential or published as ‘name withheld’. Please make such a request at the time you make your submission, outlining the reason(s) for your request.

You should also be aware that if a submission reflects adversely on another party (for example, makes allegations of a serious nature such as incompetence, negligence, corruption or criminal conduct), the committee is generally required to provide that party access to the submission and an opportunity to respond. It is also open to the committee to decline to accept or decline to publish a submission that contains adverse reflections.

Committee Secretariat contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone:+61 2 6277 3560




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