Lawmaker In Australia Pushes For Cannabis Decriminalization
Cannabis policies can take on many forms around the globe. Unfortunately, the most common form is prohibition. Cannabis reform is thankfully spreading across the globe, however, the majority of countries on the planet still prohibit cannabis.
A far superior yet rarer form of cannabis policy is adult-use legalization. Currently, only Uruguay and Canada have this policy in place. Many countries also permit the legal use of cannabis for medical purposes.
One policy area that is somewhat in between the others is cannabis decriminalization.
Cannabis decriminalization is not the same as legalization in that there is still a penalty for cannabis possession, yet it is also not the same as full-prohibition because cannabis possession is treated as a civil infraction under a decriminalization policy and not treated as a criminal offense.
Cannabis decriminalization appears to be the favored policy for at least one lawmaker in Australia. Per Daily Mail:
Calls for cannabis to be decriminalised are growing with one MP saying the drug is no more addictive than booze or tobacco.
New South Wales Labor MP Rose Jackson told parliament on September 23 legalising the drug would be ‘economically sensible’.
Decriminalization and legalization are often used interchangably by lawmakers even though they are not actually the same thing.
With that being said, even decrminalization is an economically sensible public policy because it lets cops go after real criminals instead of prosecuting and incarcerating people for cannabis.
MP Jackson is 100% correct that cannabis is no more addictive than alcohol or tobacco and cannabis should be regulated in Australia as such.
Unlike tobacco and alcohol, the cannabis plant has never killed anyone. If alcohol and tobacco are legal in Australia and can be properly regulated, then the same should be true for cannabis.