Legalising Cannabis Just Took A Step Closer To Reality In South Australia
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A member of the Greens party in South Australia has tabled a bill to see cannabis and cannabis-related products legalised in the Festival State.
The Cannabis Legalisation Bill 2022 was introduced in South Australia’s legislative council to call for the decriminalisation of cannabis.
According to the bill, it aims to 'legalise cannabis and cannabis products, to regulate the sale, supply and advertising of cannabis and cannabis products'.
The legislation had originally been tabled in November 2021 but was reintroduced following the March state election.
Greens legislative council member Tammy Frank sponsored the bill.
She explained to Stratcann, a news publication for the cannabis community, that she had looked at 'some international jurisdictions, such as Canada, the US and the Netherlands', when forming the draft of her bill.
"Looking at international jurisdictions has been useful and has offered some guidance since no jurisdiction in Australia has yet fully legalised cannabis," she said in November.
"Prohibition on drugs does not work and it is time cannabis use in South Australia is treated as a health care issue and not a criminal issue which has seen some of the most vulnerable people in our communities criminalised when they should have been provided with the health care they needed."
But it won't be a bong-ripping free for all. The legislation does have some caveats.
No one under the age of 18 would be able to consume, work with, or possess cannabis for starters (sorry kids).
The state would also need to create the South Australian Cannabis Agency to oversee the new regulations and the associated commercial industry.
All products sold would need to carry a South Australian Cannabis Agency seal.
Products would also need to display the THC and CBD levels on packaging, as well as public health warnings, similar to nicotine and health warnings on cigarette packets.
South Australians would also be allowed to have up to six cannabis plants at home, so long as they took reasonable precautions to stop them being accessed by the wider general public.
The bill would not allow anyone to blaze up in public. However, retailers could apply for a licence to allow cannabis consumption on site, similar to Amsterdam's cafes.
The proposed bill is similar to Canada's legislation that saw cannabis legalised in 2018.
According to CBC, the decriminalisation of cannabis in Canada has been a largely good thing for the north American nation.
Legalisation has ushered in a new, multibillion-dollar industry as well as new jobs and tax revenue.
Reports also indicate there have been fewer cannabis-related drug convictions for young Canadians.