The 3 Key Reasons Cannabis Should Be Made Legal For Recreational Use In Australia
There are 2 main difficulties that have to be addressed before the question of whether we should legalise cannabis in Australia for recreational adult use. First of all, we are where we are. There are laws in place, restricting everything to do with marijuana, from the right to grow it to the right to consume it. Any change to the law that is considered has to consider this. Secondly, there is no clear cut ‘right and wrong’ to the debate. Anyone who pretends there is hasn’t looked in to it closely enough. There are worthwhile arguments on both sides of the fence.
Here are the top 3 reasons, in our view, that cannabis should be made legal for adult recreational consumption in Australia.
FACT: Cannabis was legal in Australia until as recently as 1938.
- Cannabis was legal in Australia untiol 1928:
It was used in a large number of medicines that were freely available, before it became a banned substance in 1926. It was only in 1928, when the Commonwealth Government of Australia banned cannabis importation, and The Poisons Act was passed in Victoria, in 1928 that Cannabis started to be viewed negatively. Soon, in South Australia and NSW, in 1934 similar legislation was passed. The rest of the country followed and, by 1938, it was illegal across the country.
- Cannabis grows freely in most countries:
Cannabis can often be found growing wild on the coast of Queensland. It originated in south-central Asia thousands of years ago, before being spread to virtually every area of the world. Cannabis has been used by humans for thousands of years for making garments, and textiles as well as different medical and recreational uses
- Medical marijuana contains a much higher concentration of Cannabidiol (CBD):
CBD is the compound that provides the therapeutic components of medical cannabis, and a much lower concentration of THC than recreational cannabis. It’s possible to gain the medical benefits of Cannabis without condoning the use of Cannabis for recreational reasons.
SCIENCE: Medical cannabis has a lower concentration of THC meaning it can be used to assist issues like Chronic pain without getting users ‘high’.
Medical grade Cannabis is much safer than conventional Drugs
- Medical grade cannabis is safe compared to conventional opioids:
Opioids are known to have many serious and dangerous side effects and are causing an ‘epidemic’ of dependence overseas. Cannabis offers an alternative which suffers few of the negative consequences.
- Cannabis has very few side effects:
These are usually restricted to a few people who have issues with mental health such as depression, bipolar disorders, schizophrenia and anxiety disorders.
- Effective in the treatment of chronic pain:
Most people report that they have noticed no side effects, but they find it is very effective in the prevention and treatment of chronic pain.
Note: Some temporary negative side effects of cannabis usage do appear and should be recognized. When smoking cannabis, for example, users might experience a dry mouth and/or an elevated heart rate
Australian Medical cannabis is set to become a huge export earner
- Medical grade cannabis is set to become a huge export revenue earner:
Australia could benefit, as the world demand for high-quality medical grade cannabis explodes over the next few years. The American based “Grand View Research” has estimated the global market for medicinal cannabis will exceed $US55 Billion by the year 2015 and Australia has already publically stated its desire to become the world’s number 1 producer of the drug.
- Auscann is an example of an Australian company which has already moved in to the space:
It’s likely that the benefits we will see in Australia, from the overseas sale of Medical Marijuana would be quickly delivered. The first company, for example; Auscann, has been awarded a license to grow cannabis just a few months ago and has already secured funding and established itself to service a market of about 3 million domestic Australian people. Auscann targets users dealing with chronic pain, many of which are expected to become legal cannabis users. Now the doors are open wide to the whole world as the government announced lifting a ban on cannabis exports.
ECONOMICS: Auscann is targeting 3 million Australians suffering with Chronic pain.
More broadly: Recreational Cannabis
There is a growing feeling among people that the government has overstepped its authority and has no right to regulate Cannabis
- Millions of people, and many governments can’t all be wrong:
A large and ever growing number of countries have legitimized questions over the illegality of Cannabis by decriminalizing and, in many cases allowing the retail sale of medical and recreational cannabis. Countries which share similar values to Australis, such as Canada, many states of America, countries in Latin or South America, Indian, Italy and many Central European Countries have overturned historical rulings to allow their citizens access to the plant and products derived from it. Each of these countries has gone through a long and considered process, often involving the government, the people of the country and considerd opinions, medical, legal and more broadly scientific.
- Before 1925 cannabis was freely available:
Cannabis was sold commonly in Australia, taking the form of oil, for rubbing on sore joints, and separately, to be smoked in cigarette form. Cannabis was commonly used to alleviate female menstrual issues, and broadly to reduce the pain from headaches. In fact, cannabis was a major component of many over the counter medications of the day. In fact, I clearly remember hearing my Grandmother saying how she missed being able to purchase cannabis (marijuana is an American term introduced to Australia and NZ during the war years) in times of need from the local chemist shop, such as when her rheumatism played up and other unmentionable problems occurred.
- Cannabis is a natural herb:
Some question whether their governments have the right to restrict what they see as a relatively harmless (certainly less harmful than Alcohol) and potentially helpful herb their grandparents used freely.
- Personal agency:
Proponents suggest that most people are more than capable of self-regulating their own needs for marijuana, if given the opportunity. The government needs to state good reasons not to allow the sale.
Bringing it all together
It is only a matter of time until the issue of cannabis becomes a question for public debate in Australia. Medical marijuana use has already been signed off. It’s possible that the arguments in favour of cannabis use, both for medical and recreational reasons will require an increasing level of government attention, as uptake increases across the world and Australians start to examine the question of ‘why not us?’