The Victorian Greens have launched a plan to legalise and regulate the sale and consumption of cannabis in Victoria from 2024.
This would include a tax on the sale of cannabis that the Parliamentary Budget Office has revealed could raise over $1.21 billion dollars in revenue over the next ten years.
Thousands of Victorians smoke cannabis each year and yet both Labor and the Liberals continue to treat drug use as a law-and-order issue.
By legalising and regulating the sale and consumption of cannabis the next Government would undercut the black market and reduce the harms associated with criminalising drug use.
This comes on the back of the Australian Greens identifying the legal path for the licensing and sale of cannabis federally, that would override all state and territory criminal laws.
Victorian Greens health and justice spokesperson Dr Tim Read said it was high-time Victoria accepted the reality that many people in our community used drugs.
He said that more than one in three Australians had used cannabis, yet ‘law and order’ politics saw thousands of vulnerable drug users needlessly dragged through the criminal justice system every year, causing great damage to their lives.
The Greens say the revenue raised from their proposed tax should be invested in drug and alcohol detox and treatment services, which have been chronically underfunded in Victoria.
The Greens’ plan also includes decriminalising the possession of small quantities of other drugs from next year, that would save the state an additional $250 million dollars in police, court and prison expenditure over the next decade.
Quotes attributable to Victorian Greens health and justice spokesperson, Dr Tim Read:
“Thousands of Victorians use cannabis each year. Yet for 50 years we have been more at risk from the criminal justice system, than the drugs.
“If we’re serious about tackling organised crime, taking their market away will do more than any amount of enforcement.
“We need a smarter approach to drugs, and decriminalisation of drug use is the first step.
“It also means legalising and regulating the sale and use of cannabis so that Victorians aren’t buying dangerous products from the black market.
“With more Greens in Parliament this November we can push the next Government to just legalise it."