Australian Greens announce push to legalise cannabis

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Health Minister Simon Harris has announced plans to establish a "compassionate access programme" for cannabis where the drug would be made available to patients with specific conditions.

The party's proposal bears more similarities to Uruguay's government-controlled cannabis program than the recreational marijuana markets launched in some US states.

"The tax revenue will better resource the health system in delivering treatment services, drug education, harm minimisation and other supports for people who need it", Greens leader Richard Di Natale said.

"The mayor and police decided the use of soft drugs has a negative impact on the living environment", the spokesman said.

Individual Australian territories criminalized recreational cannabis use between the 1920s and 1950s, but many of these territories decriminalized minor cannabis offenses in the early 2000s.

People would be able to legally smoke dope, grow six plants of marijuana in their backyard and buy the drug at stores under a controversial Australian Greens policy.

Colorado, among the 29 states and D.C. that have legalized medicinal marijuana use and a smaller handful allowing recreational use, has raked in upwards of $506 million dollars in taxes and fees since recreational cannabis sales began in January 2014, according to a July report from the marijuana advocacy and policy firm VS Strategies.

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But despite these concerns, the AMA is still convinced that cannabis prohibition has been a failure. It would also make this agency the single wholesaler for the drug, selling on to licensed retailers.

"Drug use should be treated like a health issue, not a criminal one".

In a statement, detailing the proposal the party went on to say that Gardaí would be instructed to tolerate Dutch-style "coffee shops", which allow sale and consumption of cannabis for over-18s, albeit under certain conditions.

"Governments around the world are realising that prohibition of cannabis causes more harm than it prevents", Senator Di Natale said on Monday. "Regulating cannabis will give government more control and increase government revenue, which can be used to fund drug prevention and treatment".

The Greens party is the first with seats in Australia's parliament to call for full marijuana legalization.

Mr Moran added: 'It's no longer that unusual or "out there" to support the legislation of cannabis.

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