Kate Hawkesby: Govt should stop pretending cannabis legislation is health based

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Wed, 4 Dec 2019, 9:28AM
Photo / File

Kate Hawkesby: Govt should stop pretending cannabis legislation is health based

Author
Kate Hawkesby,
Publish Date
Wed, 4 Dec 2019, 9:28AM

Here’s the thing about the wording of the cannabis referendum, it's misleading.

We will be asked next year if we support the Cannabis Legislation and Control Bill.

The word 'control' gives the illusion that this is going to be handled, supervised, governed.

It's not, it's opening the doors for a free for all.

And most voters won't read the small print.

Because with a divisive issue like cannabis, either side has already made up their mind.

And that's on the basic premise of, it's either fine to smoke, or not.

The ‘don’t know’s’ might move, but if you already hold a view on cannabis, you’re unlikely to change it.

So the draft legislation announced yesterday. I have questions.

14 grams a day allowable, that can produce anywhere between 14 to 42 joints about 10 to 15 tinnies.

Is that what we're saying is acceptable now? Up to 42 joints a day? Are you kidding?

Potency will be strictly controlled, the government says.

By who? And how much of it will be? Random samples, or all of it?

A person can grow two cannabis plants on their property, again, policed by who?

Whose counting up plants and checking how many people live on each property?

Andrew Little has already said, "the reality is we're not going to have a squad knocking on every door every night checking growth of every plant." So there's your answer - they're not policing it.

A minimum purchase and use age of 20. I can tell you right now the number of people under 20 using cannabis will only increase, not decrease. Under 20’s will purchase through friends, older siblings, or from the black market, the black market will explode like it has overseas.

Which leads me to the most laughable argument of all that this is a health based approach.

I don’t know how the Greens say that with a straight face.

If you really want health based approaches to cannabis, just deal with the medicinal side of it.

Legalising recreational cannabis is basically sending a message that smoking cannabis is fine for you.

That is not a health based approach it’s a head in the sand approach.

Ask anyone who works at A&E whether they think freeing up cannabis usage is ‘health based’.

Ask the psychologists working in mental health if they think legalising cannabis is a ‘health based’ approach.

If this government wants this sop to the Greens, and the money from a booming cannabis industry with weed cafes round the country, then so be it, have your referendum.

But please don’t pretend it’s about people’s health.

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