Greens propose full legalisation of cannabis – The Guardian

Richard Di Natale’s policy would also allow sales in licensed shops and up to six marijuana plants at home for personal use

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young and Richard Di Natale, who says the party’s stance on cannabis is a rational response to the failed policy of prohibition. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

The Greens have proposed full legalisation of cannabis – including for recreational use – with a new government agency to act as the single wholesaler of plain-packaged cannabis.

People would also be allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants at home for their personal use under the new policy, which was announced by Richard Di Natale on Monday.

The policy is the first time a party with significant federal representation has backed full legalisation, providing a point of difference with the Coalition and Labor, which both support a scheme initiated in 2016 to legalise cannabis for medicinal use only.

Under the plan cannabis would be taxed and regulated in much the same way as alcohol and tobacco. It would be sold to adults by licensed shops and attract GST as well as federal excise tax.

In a statement, Di Natale characterised the policy as a harm minimisation approach that treats “drug use as a health issue, not a criminal issue” and a rational response to the “failed” policy of prohibition.

The Greens’ policy notes that 35% of Australians have used cannabis, according to Australian Institute of Health and Welfare statistics, and there were 79,643 cannabis related arrests in 2015–16, up 6% from

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