Green Party calls for decriminalisation of cannabis in Ireland with new policy

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THE GREEN PARTY has introduced a new drug strategy policy which calls for the decriminalisation of cannabis, claiming that current laws make "criminals out of decent people".

"This is an exciting day, as it represents a significant milestone for our company but even more so for our patients", Bravo says.

Dr Di Natalie said the Greens' plan would redefine cannabis as a legal substance in a regulated market and would redirect resources into treatment.

Gary Demeulenaere, director of legal and policy services in the Department of Justice and Public Safety, said on CBC Radio's Island Morning that the legislation takes the approach of describing where marijuana use is allowed, rather than listing where it is prohibited.

Senator Di Natale said nearly seven million Australians had tried or used cannabis, with consumption and drug possession-related arrests both on the rise.

However, the negative health impact of the drug have been described as minimal in the world's most comprehensive study into marijuana which was released previous year by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine.

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The party is confident that now is the right time for change on cannabis in Ireland. This philosophy stands at the centre of the Greens' argument.

A costing by the Parliamentary Budget Office for independent senator David Leyonhjelm, who wants marijuana legalised, found in 2016 that legalising cannabis would generate about $300 million a year in GST revenue, as well as save about $100 million a year in reduced Australian Federal Police and Australian Border Force costs.

"Cannabis is a relatively safe drug, it's safer than tobacco and alcohol".

The party wants marijuana to be available for recreational use for anyone over the age of 18.

Arguing that the war on drugs had failed, Senator Di Natale said Australia's approach to illicit drugs was an "unmitigated disaster" and it was time for real reform.

He expects the plan to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue, helping fund treatment, education and other harm-reduction programs.

But the Australian Medical Association has "significant reservations" about the proposal.