David Shoebridge, Greens NSW Senate Candidate and Greens candidate for Page Kashmir Miller visited Nimbin, the home of the annual Mardi Grass Festival, on Monday to call for the legalisation of cannabis.
Cannabis has been legalised for recreational use in many countries around the world including the US, Mexico, Canada, South Africa and in Australia the ACT. It is estimated that about 36 per cent of people in Australia have tried cannabis at some point in their lives and approximately 11.6 per cent have used it in the last 12 months according to 360edge.co.au.
They said that decades of failed policy has seen state and national police fighting a damaging and futile war against a weed.
‘The reality is that many people in our community use cannabis and our health-based approach meets that reality,’ Ms Miller said
‘By legalising cannabis, we can establish a regulated industry which will raise $4.4 billion in revenue that can be used to build schools, hospitals and help with the recovery of the climate catastrophe facing the Page community.’
The Greens say if they gain the balance of power in the federal parliament they will use it to legalise cannabis on a national level.
‘The greatest harm from Australia’s current cannabis laws comes from the police, courts and jails that criminalise cannabis users and at the same time empower organised crime,’ Mr Shoebridge said.
‘Much of the rest of the world has moved on to legalise cannabis and it’s high time Australia did the same.’
They were joined at the Nimbin Town Hall by Northern Rivers musician and activist Neil Pike who uses medicinal cannabis.
‘Cannabis is a lot more useful than panadol in relieving the aches and pains,’ Mr Pike said.
‘But if I need to drive into town that means I’d have to abstain for days to ensure the police couldn’t charge with a positive roadside test. It makes things really difficult’.