Australian citizens are lobbying for the legalisation of adult-use recreational cannabis with two parliamentary online petitions currently calling for change. 

One calls for the House of Representatives to decriminalise and legalise THC and CBD federally by rescheduling cannabis to a Schedule 3 medicine, while the second is aimed at legalising recreational adult in New South Wales.

The NSW petition cites Section 10 of the Drug Misuse and Trafficking Act 1985 (NSW) and the latest National Drug Strategy Household survey as arguments for legalisation. 

The petition states that according to the 2019 National Drug Strategy Household survey, 41% of people support the legalisation of cannabis compared to 37% opposed.

The petition’s creator, who used a pseudonym in order to remain anonymous, told Cannabiz: “The ultimate goal is to get at least 10,000 signatures prior to the November 2 closing date.

“Once the petition reaches 500 signatures (which it has already), it must receive a response from parliament on the matter. Once it reaches 20,000 signatures, it will be scheduled for debate in parliament.”

The petition also states that a regulated cannabis market in NSW could play an invaluable role in the economic recovery from Covid-19.

While the creator acknowledged that, even if the petition is debated, it is highly unlikely Liberal or Labor would support reform, it would show how much support there is for cannabis legislation not only in NSW, but across Australia.

They said: “It is time for our government to finally accept that the ‘war on drugs’, specifically the ‘war on cannabis’, has been a colossal failure and that it is time for change.”

The federal petition closes tonight (Wednesday, September 1) and has reached almost 10,000 signatures. It states: “Decriminalisation would give Australians an opportunity to supply and manufacture quality cannabis products for domestic and international sales.”

Recently, recommendations resulting from Victoria’s inquiry into cannabis legalisation were watered down at the last minute.

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Hannah Adler

Hannah is a communications professional and early-career researcher in the disciplines of health communication and health sociology. She is a PhD student at Griffith University currently writing a...

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