Fed govt rejects call to legalise cannabis

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This would be well above and beyond the current legislation around cannabis products, which more or less constitutes extremely limited medical use in certain states like New South Wales and Victoria.

In Canada, legislation to legalise cannabis is set to begin on July 1 this year - the Canadian law would allow up to 30g of cannabis possession for personal use.

"It's time Australia joined them", he said.

'We need to protect the young and the vulnerable, especially those with mental health issues, ' he said.

Health Minister Simon Harris has announced plans to establish a "compassionate access programme" for cannabis where the drug would be made available to patients with specific conditions.

Under the Greens' plan, adults would be able to grow up to six cannabis plants for personal use.

"Prohibition has failed. Using cannabis remains illegal, but this has not stopped Australians from using it".

Under the policy, the Australian Cannabis Agency would impose "strict penalties" for the sale of unlicensed or black market cannabis or the sale to under age consumers.

Dilkens says people need to know there are different rules in Canada and the United States on the use of marijuana, and people could be denied entry into the US for using marijuana, even for medicinal reasons.

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"Regulating cannabis will give government more control and increase government revenue, which can be used to fund drug prevention and treatment".

Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm said his party had long-held the position of legalising marijuana, criticising the 80,000 cannabis-related arrests each year as a waste of police resources.

'Banning cannabis hasn't reduced its use or availability yet it has distracted police from following up more serious crimes, harmed a lot of young people and helped make some criminals rich, ' Dr Wodak said.

"The Greens see drug use as a health issue, not a criminal issue".

"The Greens' plan to legalise cannabis for adult use is a major step forward for drug law reform in Australia".

"We don't want to create criminals or have people suffer criminal consequences because of criminal behavior", said Dilkens.

Senator Di Natale pointed to a recent poll showing 55 per cent of Australians believed cannabis should be regulated and taxed like alcohol or tobacco.

While the CDC report notes that self-reported use over the past month doesn't necessarily mean partaking or being impaired on the job, it suggests that "awareness of possible employee recreational marijuana use can inform employer policies regarding drug use and workplace impairment".

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