Legalise Recreational & Medical Cannabis In Queensland
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CANNABIS MUST BE LEGALISED.
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(Please note that the use of statistics from America, Iceland, Uruguay, Spain are purely because of the research conducted on a widespread level since either partial or full legalisation.) (Side note, I apologise for the layout of the links to the sources)
Legalisation should look like;
Full scale legalisation should look like;
- Full scale decriminalisation of Cannabis and having it removed from Schedule 2 of the Drug Misuse Act of 1986 (Cth)
- The decriminalisation of drug paraphernalia relating to cannabis
- The reduction of non-violent offenders sentences for possession or distribution of minor quantities of cannabis
- The ability for consumers to grow up to 10 cannabis plants
- The ability of fully legal possession of non commercial quantities
- In terms of Business, allowing Cannabis businesses the same legal rights and taxable allowances as other general businesses
- The potential for an Edible tax, similar to the "Pop-tax" for cannabis products that the younger demographic may be more inclined to use or come in contact with
Here are the reasons why;
1. Cannabis Legalisation Decreases Violent Crime rates
Across continents, and in countries such as the USA, Uruguay, Spain, and Iceland, all have cited cases in which they've seen decreases in the overall crime rates in the area's that were legalise. In particular, Denver, Colorado saw a 2.2% decrease in the overall violent crime rates and an overall drop of 8.9% in property crime. Washington however, showed an even larger decrease in crime at 10%. "State-wide, violent crime declined by 10% between 2011 and 2014, including a 13% decrease in the murder rate."(Marijuana Legalisation in Washington After 1 Year of Retail Sales and 2.5 Years of Legal Possession, Drug Policy Alliance, Page 2, Para 2).
However it is worth mentioning the study published in British Journal of Psychiatry which analysed a Dutch Survey in January of 2006, which had the findings, "...cannabis use was linked to externalising problems (delinquent and aggressive behaviour) but not to internalising problems (withdrawn behaviour, somatic complaints and depression)..." Contradicting that, a study reviewing the effects of cannabis legalisation on crime found that that study had no concrete evidence by suggesting "What remains unclear is whether these findings imply a causal link between marijuana use and violence or whether the relationship is driven by an uncontrolled variable(s) (i.e., a spurious correlation)." (The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Crime: Evidence from State Panel Data, 1990-2006, Robert G. Morris, Michael TenEyck, J. C. Barnes, Tomislav V. Kovandzic)
Other countries findings of cannabis legalisation decreasing crime rates can be seen from the following;
"'Judging by every metric, decriminalization in Portugal has been a resounding success,' says Glenn Greenwald"(http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1893946,00.html)
"Following decriminalization, Portugal had the lowest rate of lifetime marijuana use in people over 15 in the E.U.: 10%. The most comparable figure in America is in people over 12: 39.8%."(http://content.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1893946,00.html)
"'We were interested in the effects of the legislation on crime. Based on the situation in the Netherlands, we saw no reason for the legalization to result in an increase in crime,' says post-doctoral researcher Floris Zoutman of the Department of Business and Management Science at NHH...'When the demand for marijuana declines, this hurts the importers so much that they have trouble importing other drugs,' says Zoutman."(Torill Sommerfelt Ervik, Legalization of medical marijuana reduces crime)(http://sciencenordic.com/legalization-medical-marijuana-reduces-crime)
2. Cannabis Legalisation Brings Along With It, Massive Tax Revenue
It has been estimated by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre that;
"The net social benefit (the difference between the benefits and the costs) was positive for both policies. To illustrate the uncertainty around each of the estimates, we provided a mean figure and a 5-95% range. The mean net social benefit for the status quo was A$294.6 million (A$201.1 to A$392.7 million) and for the legalised–regulated model it was A$234.2 million (A$136.4 to A$331.1 million)." (https://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/blog/assessing-costs-and-benefits-legalising-cannabis)(Dr Marian Shanahan, Assessing the costs and benefits of legalising cannabis)
While understanding the legalised-regulated model has a lower nett societal benefit than the current model, the NDARC admits that in that range, they do not take into consideration for the potential revenue that may come from cannabis and then mentioning the actual nett benefit for society;
" Not included in the above results are potential revenues to government, as they are considered transfers and not normally included in a cost-benefit analysis.
When the revenues were added – after removing payments to growers and the costs of operating the cannabis shops – the net social benefit increased. In fact, it more than doubled to A$727.5 million, as did the level of uncertainty (it could be anywhere in the range of A$372.3 million to A$1,113.2 million). This suggests there may be gains for government coffers under legalisation." (https://ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au/blog/assessing-costs-and-benefits-legalising-cannabis)(Dr Marian Shanahan, Assessing the costs and benefits of legalising cannabis)
They weren't the only ones to see massive revenue coming from the cannabis related industries.
Adam Gartrell from the Sydney Morning Herald wrote the article;
Tax toke: the budget office models GST on marijuana
Which cites sources from the Parliamentary Budget Office, which asserts that it provides an "independent and non-partisan budget analysis to politicians" (http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/tax-toke-the-budget-office-models-gst-on-marijuana-20160129-gmhjli.html (PBO throughout the article), and the PBO claims that if "Marijuana" was legalised and taxed, the Federal government would raise approximately $300 million a year, however that doesn't include the $100 million a year that the Federal government would save as a result of reduced costs by the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Border Force.
3. Cannabis Creates Jobs
In Colorado alone the cannabis industry has created more than 18,000 jobs, as quoted by the Marijuana Policy Group, "marijuana activities generated $2.39 billion in state output, and created 18,005 new Full-Time-Equivalent (FTE) positions in 2015." However in the total USA cannabis industry, Forbes citing from the Marijuana Business Daily, found, "According to annual surveys of cannabis professionals by the Marijuana Business Daily, the industry already employs 100,000 to 150,000 workers and nearly 90,000 are in plant-touching companies." However in the same article, Forbes continues, "however with projected total market sales to exceed $24 billion by 2025, and the possibility of almost 300,000 jobs by 2020, it remains a positive economic force in the U.S.” (Debra Borchardt, Marijuana Industry Projected To Create More Jobs Than Manufacturing By 2020) (https://www.forbes.com/sites/debraborchardt/2017/02/22/marijuana-industry-projected-to-create-more-jobs-than-manufacturing-by-2020/#6e97434b3fa9
Along with the drastic increase in jobs, Colorado has seen an exponential decrease in the unemployment rate, dropping from 6% from January 2014, to just 2.3% as of May 2017.
Since Queensland and Colorado have a very similar population (Colorado = 5.457 million (2015), & Queensland = 4,883,739 (31 December 2016) (Google search = "Colorado pop") (http://www.qgso.qld.gov.au/products/reports/pop-growth-qld/qld-pop-counter.php It can be assumed that it would have a very similar effect on the Queensland unemployment rate, as well as a much larger drop in the outback unemployment rate as that currently sits at 13.2%.
4. Cannabis Is Not Deadly
In researching the arguments for this petition, I tried to come across a median lethal dose for Cannabis otherwise known as an LD50 (A measure of how much of a certain chemical that we would need to ingest, to die 50% of the time), and honestly I found one, it is reported in the Oregon Institute for Cannabis Therapeutics, "The non-fatal consumption of 3000 mg/kg A THC by the dog and monkey would be comparable to a 154-pound human eating approximately 46 pounds (21 kilograms) of 1% marijuana or 10 pounds of 5% hashish at one time... These doses would be comparable to a 154-pound human smoking at one time almost three pounds (1.28 kg) of 1% marijuana or 250,000 times the usual smoked dose and over a million times the minimal effective dose assuming 50% destruction of the THC by smoking." (http://www.oregon.gov/pharmacy/Imports/Marijuana/StaffReview/ReschedulingCannabis-NOTES_3-10.pdf
These figures coming from the Oregon Institute of Cannabis Therapeutics clearly show that dying via cannabis overdose isn't even clinically possible on a realistic level.
As seen in the evidence provided above, legalising cannabis has no effect on crime rates in all of the countries that it is legalised in, it adds another revenue source for the governments around cannabis to profit off of, as well as dropping unemployment rates drastically in most areas it is introduced into, and lastly it was proven that it would be physically impossible to die from simply smoking marijuana. From those deductions, this conclusion can be made; There is no logical reason for cannabis to be under prohibition as it clearly provides far to many benefits to society around it.
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This petition will be sent to;
1. Annastacia Palaszczuk (QLD Premier, Minister for the Arts)
2. Jackie Trad (QLD Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning, Minister for Trade and Investment)
3. Leeanne Enoch (QLD Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy, Minister for Small Business)
4. Leanne Donaldson (QLD Minister for Agriculture and Fisheries)
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