LIBERAL DEMOCRATS PRESS RELEASE
Call for legal marijuana grows….
The first Senate hearing into the legalisation of recreational marijuana inquiry is expected to be held in Sydney next month on 12 July.
Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm introduced his Removing Commonwealth Restrictions on Cannabis Bill in the Senate last month.
Writing in today’s The Australian Financial Review, Senator Leyonhjelm outlined his arguments for legalising recreational marijuana.
“Attitudes have changed over the last couple of decades and few now accept the claim that cannabis is addictive like narcotics, or that it is a pathway to drugs more addictive than alcohol or tobacco,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.
“While not totally innocent, cannabis has a cleaner rap sheet than alcohol. Nobody gets into a fight, gambles irresponsibly, engages in domestic violence or destroys property as a result of smoking marijuana.
“Apart from keeping it out of the hands of minors and preventing adverse effects on others — as we attempt to do with alcohol and tobacco — there is no longer any justification for maintaining laws that make possession, use or supply of cannabis illegal.”
An estimated 35 per cent of Australians admit to having used marijuana at some point in their lives.
“Considering it has always been illegal, that’s an awfully large proportion of us engaging in unlawful conduct,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.
The Bill now before parliament reflects a long-standing policy of the Liberal Democrats to legalise recreational marijuana.
Last month the Greens announced that they also supported the legalisation of cannabis but have yet to introduce a Bill to the Australian Parliament.
A factsheet on the Liberal Democrats’ Bill compared to the Greens’ announced policy is attached.