Recently, the Victorian government published a report investigating potential ways to make cannabis use safer in Victoria. The report is the work of MP Fiona Patten and her colleagues on the Legislative Council Legal and Social Issues Committee.
So what does the report actually say about cannabis legalisation?
You can read the full report here, but here’s a quick summary.
The report recommends that the government should regulate the cannabis industry by legalising or decriminalising cannabis.
On consideration of the evidence provided by stakeholders, the Committee believes that the Victorian Government should further investigate the impacts of legalising adult personal use of cannabis. This includes legalising use, possession and cultivation for adult personal use, as well as the gifting of cannabis and group cultivation for small groups of adults to grow plants collectively.
The report also makes 17 recommendations and 21 considerations. These can essentially be boiled down into these suggestions:
- The government should legalise cannabis use for adults over the age of 18 on private property.
- People should be allowed to grow two cannabis plants at home per adult (if no children live there).
- The government should limit cannabis use to adults over the age of 18.
- People convicted for certain cannabis crimes (like possession) should have their convictions spent. This does not include drug-driving convictions.
- The government should implement an evidence-based curriculum on cannabis in Victorian schools (including teaching children about the dangers of cannabis).
- The government should consider regulating the cannabis market and introducing quality standards to ensure cannabis’s quality.
- The government should encourage small Australian businesses to enter the cannabis market (so there is no ‘Big Marijuana’).
- The government should create a regulatory body to control the cannabis industry.
- The government should control the potency of THC in legal cannabis.
- The government should consider permitting cannabis social clubs (clubs where non-for-profit organisations can cultivate cannabis for members).
- The government should strictly regulate cannabis advertising (so it does not encourage cannabis use).
- Cannabis pricing should compete with the black market.
- If the government were to legalise cannabis products like edibles, great care should be taken to ensure their THC content is minimised.
- The government could tax cannabis businesses and charge them licensing fees (like liquor stores).
As is noted in the report, these suggestions are designed to make cannabis use safer, decrease children’s access to cannabis, and reduce the hold criminal enterprises have on the $14.8 billion cannabis market.