Victorian Greens want weed legalised in the state and taxed just like alcohol
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The Victorian Greens are advocating for weed to be legalised in the state and be taxed similarly to alcohol.
Ahead of the November election, the Greens have proposed for cannabis to be legal by 2024 and to be taxed at 30 per cent of sales.
They said this could raise as much as $1.2 billion (£687m) in new tax revenue over 10 years, as per The Guardian.
The state Greens also said this would save the criminal justice system $250 million (£143m).
Greens Brunswick MP, Tim Read, explained that the policy is a ‘recognition that decades of prohibition has failed’ as the state needs a ‘smarter approach' to drug use.
BREAKING: Today the Victorian Greens will launch their plan to legalise and regulate cannabis in Victoria from 2024.— Samantha Ratnam - Leader of the Victorian Greens (@SamanthaRatnam) October 9, 2022
For decades our state has treated drug use as a criminal issue rather than a health one, putting drug users at great risk.
It's high-time we changed that.
He added: “Thousands of Victorians smoke cannabis but it’s disproportionately Aboriginal people and young people who are arrested for doing so.
“We need to be looking to use our police and prison resources more wisely, we can’t afford to keep throwing good money after bad.”
According to Mr Read, one in three Australians had admitted to using cannabis, but ‘law and order’ politics lead to thousands of vulnerable drug users being hauled through the criminal justice system every year.
He continued: “It also means legalising and regulating the sale and use of cannabis so that Victorians aren’t buying dangerous products from the black market.”
The plan also proposed that cannabis could be sold to those 18 years and over; however, if the drug is sold to minors, like alcohol, penalties would apply.
The Greens have urged for cannabis legalisation in the wake of US President Joe Biden pardoning thousands of people with possession of cannabis convictions.
In a move that’s been described as ‘long overdue’, the President is promoting marijuana regulation reform, noting that there is significant racial disparity in cannabis arrests.
He said in a press release that while ‘white and Black and brown people use marijuana at similar rates, Black and brown people have been arrested, prosecuted and convicted at disproportionate rates’.
President Biden also called for state governors to offer a similar pardon while requesting that the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General review how marijuana is scheduled under federal law.
He concluded: “Too many lives have been upended because of our failed approach to marijuana. It’s time that we right these wrongs.”