Legalisation of medicinal cannabis (SA)
1st May 2023
The ALA has made a submission to the South Australian Government’s Joint Committee on the Legalisation of Medicinal Cannabis. Our submission highlights the legislative inconsistency and injustice of treating cannabis as an illicit substance under ‘drug-driving’ laws. We note the discriminatory impact this is having on those who rely on cannabis to deal with issues from pain management to relief from serious illnesses. Current ‘drug-driving’ laws are inherently stigmatising and unjust, particularly as these laws apply even where there is no evidence of impairment while driving.
Broadly, the ALA contends that the possession and use of illicit substances should be decriminalised at the very least, and preferably legalised. Finally, our submission illustrates successful programs in Portugal which have legalised illicit substances in favour of a public health approach; resulting in drug mortality rates becoming the lowest in Western Europe and prison sentences for drug offences moving from 40% to 15.9% following landmark legislative change in 2001.