A new petition demanding that the New South Wales government legalise recreational cannabis is currently live on the state parliament’s website.
The petition, titled ‘Legalise Recreational Adult use of Cannabis in NSW (COVID-19 Recovery)‘, calls on the state government to legalise cannabis by adjusting Section 10 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW). Specifically, it calls for the state government to legalise the use, possession and supply of cannabis within the state.
It puts forward several arguments for this, including that:
- 36% of Australian adults have used cannabis before, and 11.6% used cannabis in the past twelve months
- More Australians support cannabis legalisation than oppose it (41% compared to 37%)
- More Australians support regular cannabis use by adults than regular tobacco use (19.6% for cannabis compared to 15.4% for tobacco)
- The war on drugs was a “colossal failure”
- The social and economic costs of cannabis prohibition outweigh the benefits
It also argues that legalising cannabis could help NSW with COVID-19, as legalising cannabis would “play an invaluable role in the economic recovery” from the pandemic.
The federal parliamentary budget office found that legalising cannabis could provide $2 billion to the Australian economy annually, potentially adding $660 million per year to NSW.
Australia’s cannabis market is currently worth $14.8 billion (including the legal and illegal markets). However, the economy only enjoys the benefits of the legal market, as the black market is unregulated.
Once the cannabis ePetition has concluded, it will be presented to members of NSW’s Legislative Assembly for review. If the petition gets more than 500 signatures, it must receive a response. Over 10,000, and it will be scheduled for debate.