Do you have an opinion about the use of cannabis in Victoria? Now is the time to have your say!

The Legal and Social Issues committee of the Victorian Legislative Council has set up an inquiry into the use of Cannabis and is inviting suggestions from the public.

“We want to hear from community members about the current restrictions on the use of cannabis in Victoria and whether these are appropriate,” said Committee Chair Fiona Patten in a statement.

“We’re interested in hearing people’s views on whether the use of cannabis should remain legal for medical treatment only or whether current restrictions on use of cannabis should be changed,” Patten said. “We are not alone in considering the impacts of cannabis on people who use it, and on their families and carers. It will be important for us to examine how these issues are being tackled in other countries so that we can learn from their experiences.”

In 2016 Australia legalised the use of cannabis for medicinal use at the federal level, though its use for recreational purposes remains banned. Cultivation of cannabis is a criminal offence, unless license is obtained to do it for medicinal purposes.

On January 30, 2020, A.C.T. legalised cannabis. The new law made it legal for A.C.T. residents over the age of 18 to possess up to 50 grams of dried cannabis. It allowed a person to grow two plants at home or a maximum of four plants per household. The federal government had said it would overturn the law.

The terms of reference say that the inquiry by the committee in Victoria will look into the best ways to:

prevent young people and children from accessing and using cannabis in Victoria.
protect public health and public safety in relation to the use of cannabis in Victoria.
implement health education campaigns and programs to ensure children and young people are aware of the dangers of drug use, in particular, cannabis use.
prevent criminal activity relating to the illegal cannabis trade in Victoria.
assess the health, mental health, and social impacts of cannabis use on people who use cannabis, their families and carers.

Here’s how you can make your submission:

Public submissions will be accepted till August 31, 2020
Online submissions can be made  on the committee’s website https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/lsic-lc/article/4261

Patten encouraged people who have an interest in the issue to make a submission before the committee.  “It’s crucial that our own community members have the opportunity to get involved with this conversation.”

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