Legalise Cannabis NSW MP Jeremy Buckingham will chair the state’s first inquiry into the impact of prohibition after MPs voted in favour of the move on Wednesday.

The upper house Impact of the regulatory framework for cannabis in New South Wales inquiry will examine the social and economic impact of current laws including their effect on disadvantaged groups and the young.

It will also consider alternative approaches to prohibition and the “true socio-economic cost and the opportunities of cannabis legalisation”, Buckingham said.

He added the state’s illegal cannabis market is being used as “rocket fuel” for organised crime groups and that legalising adult use would dry up an important source of their revenue.

“The inquiry will hear from experts in cannabis law reform, health, crime, economists and will look at jurisdictions like the ACT, US and Germany who have moved to a legalisation regime,” he said.

“Cannabis prohibition disproportionately impacts and criminalises regional, working class, LGBT and Aboriginal communities – it’s time to see why.”

The motion was passed with support from the government and the Greens.

Shooters, Fishers and Farmers Party leader Robert Borsak will act as deputy chair, with Labor’s Sarah Kaine, Bob Nanva and Stephen Lawrence joining Liberals Chris Rath and Damien Tudehope on the committee.

NSW treasurer and upper house MP Daniel Mookhey said the government welcomed the opportunity to hear from experts, but warned any potential policy reform would be examined at the state’s drug summit later this year.

He said the summit would engage with “health and medical experts, police, drug user organisations, families and other stakeholders to build consensus on the way this state deals with drug use and misuse”.

Greens spokesperson for drug-law reform and harm reduction Cate Faehrmann said the inquiry was overdue.

“It is about time, frankly, that we had a very far-reaching, thorough and detailed inquiry into cannabis — not just medicinal cannabis and not just into the very unfair laws around driving for medicinal cannabis patients,” she added.

Prior to launching Cannabiz, Martin was co-founder and CEO of Asia-Pac’s leading B2B media and marketing information brand Mumbrella, overseeing its sale to Diversified Communications in 2017. A journalist...

Leave a comment