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Massive Review Recommends Victoria Look Into Legalising Cannabis

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Massive Review Recommends Victoria Look Into Legalising Cannabis

A parliamentary inquiry has recommended Victoria look into legalising cannabis for recreational use.

The Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee has made 21 suggestions on how to approach the illegal drug.

One was to fully investigate the impacts of a legalised cannabis system in Victoria and how it would work.

Other recommendations were reviewing the effectiveness of current school-based drug education and making it a requirement for police to only caution teenagers if they're caught with the substance rather than the 'discretionary policy' that's currently in force.

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The large-scale inquiry has been operational since 2019 and has since received 1,475 written submissions on how to address various issues.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

According to the Herald Sun, there were dozens of expert witnesses who contributed to the inquiry, including relevant organisations and individuals from around the globe.

The main takeaway point from the whole thing is that Victoria is in need of a big reform on its cannabis legislation.

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The inquiry has been led by Reason Party chief Fiona Patten, who said it's clear something needs to change because prohibition hasn't worked.

"Time and time again the committee heard that the current criminalisation approach to cannabis in Victoria is not addressing problematic use of cannabis and is in fact contributing to the harms experienced by vulnerable groups," Ms Patten said.

"The report and its findings reflect the evidence we received for the need for reform and outlines the key considerations for the Victorian government if it is to carefully move to a legislated framework for the use of cannabis in Victoria."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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She revealed, to no one's surprise, that Victoria Police weren't on board with the idea of relaxing rules related to cannabis.

"Police will tell you that they're not here to make policy, they're here to enforce legislation. Yet, time and time again, their voice seems to becoming louder and more prominent in in government policy," she added.

Ms Pattern hopes legislation will change eventually and says everyone needs to admit that the current model isn't working.

"I think we need to look at how we treat drug use," she said. "We know criminalising drug use prevents people from seeking treatment and health advice."

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Any sort of move to legalise cannabis for recreational use will likely take years as it will have to be vetted and approved by a majority of politicians and stakeholders. So, don't hold your breath.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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