Canada has done it. Uruguay and the Netherlands have done it. And a growing number of US states have done it too.
Will Victoria be the next to turn its back on the failed war on drugs and legalise cannabis?
Reason Party leader Fiona Patten believes the state is ready to lead Australia in recognising that leaving marijuana to criminals dealing in the black market is a proven recipe for disaster.
The outspoken minor party MP, who has successfully backed other progressive laws, says Victoria should be the first state to legalise recreational cannabis.
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Fiona Patten has vowed to legalise cannabis
Fiona Patten, who is currently campaigning to hold her seat in the upper house, has vowed to trigger legislation within 12 months of the elected parliament this Saturday to make Victoria the first state in the nation to legalise marijuana.
On Wednesday Ms Patten said in a statement:
‘The time has come. Victoria, the most progressive state in the country, is ready for this change…
‘Legalising cannabis makes sense — it’s a no-brainer to most people.
‘Across the world communities are making this change and it is time for Victoria to yet again lead the way in this historic reform.’
According to AAP, if marijuana were to be legalised, the Victorian Parliamentary Budget Office has calculated that the state would raise $204 million. This would be in taxes, police and prosecution decreases and increased revenues.
Ms Patten has been advocating for a number of controversial legislations. And many of them have now become law in Victoria. These include voluntary assisted dying; Melbourne’s supervised injection centre and safe zones around abortion clinics.
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