A staggering amount of Victorians are in favour of legalising marijuana, according to submissions made to the state government.
The Victorian government announced in May last year that the Legislative Council's Legal and Social Issues Committee would be encouraging submissions into the use of cannabis throughout the state.
Since then, more than 1,800 submissions have been made public on their website, showing that many are hoping for weed to get the green light.
The committee was set up to investigate five aspects of cannabis use in Victoria. In addition to the committee's five main functions, they will also assess how other jurisdictions have approached the issue of cannabis legalisation.
Committee Chair and leader of the Reason Party Fiona Patten, who is a strong believer in reforming the current drug laws, said: "We want to hear from community members about the current restrictions on the use of cannabis in Victoria and whether these are appropriate.
"We're interested in hearing people's views on whether the use of cannabis should remain legal for medical treatment only or whether current restrictions on the use of cannabis should be changed.
"At the same time, it's crucial that our own community members have the opportunity to get involved with this conversation. That's why we're encouraging people with an interest in these issues to make a submission."
Some of the comments submitted discussed the fact that whether cannabis was legal or not, users of the drug will still find ways to access it.
Victorian resident Damien Nicholls said: "One way or another people will get cannabis if they desire it, but if it's legalised then the government can keep tabs on it and the revenue goes to legitimate companies and the government through taxes, rather than criminals who undermine society."
Steve Evans, a 50-year-old cannabis user, stated that Plant Growth Regulators - or PGR - had overrun the black market, despite containing dangerous carcinogenic substances.
He wrote: "Without control of the growth and sale of [the] cannabis black market, cannabis is expensive, poorly grown with dangerous mould, pesticides and PGR constantly present in black market weed."t
The Australian Lawyers Alliance also added that the current laws across the state were in desperate need of revisiting.
They submitted: "The social problems that arise from illicit drug consumption, including financial hardship and the development of mental illness such as depression, are not adequately addressed through a criminalisation framework.
"The ALA submits that harm minimisation is best served through a system of decriminalisation and regulation of cannabis."
If you've not yet made a submission and would like do to so, there is still time. Submissions close on Monday, 15 March 2021. You can make a submission here.
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