Legalisation and Regulation of Cannabis in Australia.
Cannabis must be treated in the same way as alcohol and tobacco.
CONSIDER: ‘The Grape Theory’
- Treat Cannabis like grapes
- grow as many grapes as you want, no licence
- make as many of those grapes as you want into wine, no licence
- share that wine with your friends and family, no licence
- HOWEVER the moment you want to sell some of that wine you require a licence, show quality control and safety for human consumption, and pay the appropriate fees
A legal and regulated cannabis market requires:
- An immediate moratorium on all arrests of cannabis consumers
- Reforms allowing consumers and/or carers to grow cannabis in their gardens or indoors.
- All historical personal-use cannabis criminal records to be expunged.
- Reform of drug driving laws where impairment, not presence, is tested.
- Road Safety laws to be amended to allow for a defence for medicinal users.
- A state-based licensing system covering all commercial operations including production, manufacturing, and retail / dispensing.
- An amnesty period for current grey-market growers to transition to become licensed producers with ongoing support provided to boutique growers, small producers, and compassion clubs. Subsidies to incentivise start-ups and not-for-profits.
- State-regulated affordable testing facilities available for producers, growers, and consumers. Such services to be reasonably priced, easy to access with all restrictions currently hampering testing to be lifted.
- A unified independent cannabis authority overseeing personal-use cannabis and hemp production to include end-users and those experienced in cultivation and production in decision-making processes.
Cannabis and hemp are known for their health benefits and since they have been removed from our diet, we have seen an explosion of diseases such as cancer, dementia and autoimmune conditions that were once relatively rare.
Reintroducing cannabis into our daily diet as a measure to prevent ill-health could reduce the long-term burden on the health budget.
Legalisation will enable affordable access to safe cannabis therapeutics via home-grow and licensed dispensaries. A licensed dispensary model would enable small and medium sized licensed growers to enter the market.
Introduce public health education and awareness programs about the preventative benefits of cannabis and hemp as a plant-based diet and medicine.
Introduce cannabis clinics attached to dispensaries with trained clinicians advising customers on ‘strains’ and products when cannabis is recommended by a doctor to treat their condition.
Offer workshops for patients about growing cannabis for food and medicine, educating them on all aspects of safely making their own medicine, including information on production, dosing and administration routes.
Introduction of supervised and recorded N1 trials that would speed up the evidenced based data available, through monitoring and evaluating cannabis’ effectiveness in treating different conditions.
Patient’s licences would ensure cheaper rates to medical users on a doctor’s recommendation.
For patients who prefer the established pharmaceutical model, a more patient-friendly approach regarding access to and affordability of cannabis products is needed. This could include the establishment of a state based compassionate access scheme subsidising corporate medicine, as proposed by the Barriers to Medical Cannabis Inquiry in March 2020.
State revenues from cannabis sales can be directed to improving the public health system through better nurse to patient ratios and increased funding for specialised mental health on-the-job training for nurses in mental health specific care facilities.
Ensure doctors working in public hospitals are free from harassment by bureaucracy if they to choose to prescribe cannabis to in or out-patients in a public hospital.
Products would be dispensed and subsidised through hospital pharmacies.
As recommended by the Federal Inquiry into Barriers to Medical Cannabis – targeted education and public awareness campaigns need to be developed and implemented to reduce the stigma around medicinal cannabis within the community