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Australian Medical Association Opposes Cannabis Legalization Measure


Lawmakers in Australia’s Parliament are currently considering a bill that would legalize cannabis for adult use. The ‘Legalising Cannabis Bill 2023‘ was introduced by Greens Senator David Shoebridge, an outspoken proponent of modernizing Australia’s cannabis policies.

According to the summary of the bill, the measure “establishes the Cannabis Australia National Agency as a statutory agency to register cannabis strains and regulate activities relating to cannabis including: growing and possessing cannabis plants; manufacturing and selling cannabis products; operating cannabis cafes; and importing and exporting cannabis products.”

The measure was first introduced and read for the first time on August 10, 2023, and is currently sitting in the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee. The committee is accepting submissions, and for better or worse, the Australian Medical Association weighed in. Per the Milton Ulladulla Times:

A proposed federal Bill that would legalise cannabis for adult recreational use in Australia must be scrapped, according to the Australian Medical Association (AMA).

The AMA has set out its opposition to the Bill in its submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, saying there were many short-term and long-term risks posed by recreational cannabis.

The association’s submission was full of classic reefer madness talking points, many of which seem to fail to take into consideration the overwhelming success of adult-use legalization in Canada and Uruguay.

It’s an interesting irony that while Australia’s Medical Association is making claims that adult-use legalization would hurt its nation’s public health outcomes, lawmakers in Europe are pushing for legalization to boost public health outcomes.

In countries that prohibit cannabis, such as Australia, consumers make their purchases from unregulated sources and it’s anyone’s guess what was used to cultivate the unregulated cannabis that the sources provide. A significant amount of humans will always consume cannabis, and when that cannabis is unregulated and contaminated, consuming it can cause issues.

The Australian Medical Association, much like many cannabis opponents, fails to accept the reality of the situation. They seem to think that if cannabis is prohibited, that humans will not consume it. Obviously, that has never been the case at any point during the era of cannabis prohibition.