One Nation SA will call for a plebiscite on legalising recreational cannabis in the state should it win seats in the election in March.
State party leader Jennifer Game said other countries had made the move after a referendum or plebiscite with positive economic results.
She said: “California now collects more than $1 billion in revenue from recreational marijuana. It can create a whole new industry and a lot of new jobs and businesses.”
Game added legalisation would improve access for people using cannabis for therapeutic purposes and improve regulation and safety.
While acknowledging concerns about the long-term health effects of regular use and the impact on water resources required to produce crops, she insisted: “These are just some of the elements that will need to be addressed in an honest public debate in the lead-up to a plebiscite.”
In November 2021, the South Australia Greens tabled a bill in the Upper House with the aim of legalising recreational cannabis in the state.
At the time, SA Greens MLC Tammy Franks said it would “reimagine our state where those much-touted offerings include ‘fine food, wine and weed from our clean, green environment’.”
Responding to Game, she said while she was not opposed to plebiscites in principle, she was “opposed to expensive and unnecessary ones”.
She added: “I am concerned at the massive cost of one now, when politicians could just do their jobs and get on with creating a safer, legal market that will break the current criminal business model and bring in both compassion and revenue if we just legalise it.”
“Poll after poll shows that already the public are waiting for politicians to catch up on this issue.”
Franks said One Nation should “cut to the chase” and support the Greens’ bill instead.