Australia’s left-wing party campaigns to legalise recreational use of marijuana by federal parliament


The Australian Greens, or the left-wing party, secured constitutional advice that soon the federal parliament might overrule state prohibitions and legalise recreational marijuana use.

With the help of constitutional lawyer Patrick Keyzer, the Green Party is working hard to legalise recreational marijuana in the country, which could pave the way for federal legislation.

Also read | Cannabis ‘candies’ being sold to children in UK, six hospitalised

As per Keyzer’s advice, there are three ways Commonwealth heads can use their authority to legalise and control the use of marijuana with Section 51’s provisions. Keyzer, citing section 51(xviii), which allows the Commonwealth Head to access plant variety rights, “could regulate cannabis strains as plant varieties and cause them to be listed in a schedule in respect of which the Commonwealth has exclusive regulatory control,” The Guardian reported, 

The Green party claims that giving the federal government the authority to control cannabis cultivation and sales would supersede state and local marijuana prohibition laws.

Also read | Marijuana use on the rise among young Americans: Study

Green’s justice spokesperson David Shoebridge said that this is the first move to legalise marijuana through federal parliament, making Australia join several nations such as Germany, 19 states in the US, and Uruguay in decriminalising the drug. Shoebrdige plans to draught a bill for this later this year, with a proper account of people who can legally cultivate it, penalties for illegal sales to minors, and several taxation policies.

In a statement, he said, “We’ve been told to wait for the cannabis law reform for too long, even when it’s obvious that the majority of harm caused is by policing and the war on drugs, not the plant,” The Guardian reported.

Furthermore, Shoebridge stated that approximately 40 per cent of Australians have consumed cannabis, and thus a prohibition law criminalises at least half of the population. 

(With inputs from agencies)


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