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The New South Wales Greens have officially introduced a bill to legalise cannabis across the state.
The bill was brought in by MP Cate Faehrmann, who delivered a comprehensive outline of the benefits of legalisation as well as the reasons why the law needs to change in a speech to Parliament.
Ms Faehrmann said in a statement before unveiling her bill, she said: "It's time to legalise cannabis in NSW. Prohibition has well and truly failed and governments all around the world are finally accepting this fact.
"Decriminalisation is better than prohibition. People are risking criminal records just because their drug of choice has been deemed illegal because of a moral crusade started before I was born."
The MP wants to see the drug accessible to people over the age of 18 and bring it in line with the way we view and regulate alcohol and tobacco.
Ms Faehrmann said prohibition doesn't work, has never worked, and will never ensure weed is kept off the streets.
The Greens Cannabis Legalisation Bill 2021 not only wants to legalise the use and possession of the drug, but also allow a household of up to two people or less to grow up to six cannabis plants. A household larger than that could grow up to 12 cannabis plants.
Under the proposed piece of legislation, cannabis products would be labelled with health warnings, retailers would be banned from promoting or advertising cannabis, and stores would not be allowed to operate within 200 metres of a school of childcare centre.
The bill is expected to be debated sometime this year.
There have been more than a thousand emails sent to Premier Gladys Berejiklian on the issue as the Greens pressure the state government to change its thinking.
In a statement on its website, the Greens said: "Governments around the world are moving towards legalising and regulating cannabis. Fifteen US states, Canada and Uruguay are already there with Mexico, Israel and Luxembourg are very close. And cannabis looks set to be legalised at the federal level in the US thanks to Biden's election.
"The Greens are introducing a bill into the NSW Parliament that would legalise cannabis and see it regulated like alcohol or tobacco with users able to buy it from a store instead of the black market.
"Because people are going to smoke weed no matter what. Legalising cannabis would protect users by introducing standards for growing and selling weed and it would shift profits away from organised crime and into much-needed social services while creating jobs."
A combination of licencing fees, GST and savings on criminal justice spending would generate an extra $200 million per year for the state government.
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