Weeks Away From Legal Cannabis in Australia 2019 Now What & Whaaaaat ?

Loren W
Melbourne – #StandUPForCannabis
12 August 2019

We have had a countdown for a few months now, that Labor (yes Labor) has voted to legalize Cannabis. Firstly, remember Cannabis law reform is a STATE not a federal issue. The TGA / Feds will say both depending on how they want to frame the issue.  

What Does This Mean Exactly?  – A few of us have had the intermittent ear of law makers on Cannabis law reform in and outside Australia for months or years. I went down that path on my own amendment on the 2016 Australia Cannabis access bill the 1st one in Australia and in California in 1996.  In 2016 – I had concerns that have now played out that the government was not opening the door to access but trying to nail it shut permanently or as long as possible. Oddly, neither Greens or even Fiona Patten got amendments on that bill, as they were anti-government and I was trying to convince govt Cannabis was not dangerous so govt supported my amendment, that I tried to frame as pro government supportive as it WAS protecting patients (my goal) That made no difference to law reform but gave me a little cred. I mention this as each of us alone or together can make a difference.  Since then over 10 bills and acts AGAINST Cannabis have taken place nationally, though few get any media coverage.

This is all relevant as seeing a tiny little bit of the process internally in Australia of how government works behind the scenes is enlightening, scary and aggravating and a bit dystopian.  Few things are said or done without meaning or purpose, and many things are said that have different intent and risk if you expect a politician to be loyal to anything other than their party, ahead of people or patients etc. That is politics. Also 1 person can make a difference even if to warn others as I have and others have tried to do.

Timeline Legal Cannabis Australia 2019 ACT – Labor ACT expects to debate Cannabis Bill after it has now survived a plan to kill it by Libs and a surprise power play coup like by Greens. In the end (and in all fairness all along) Greens continue to support the ACT Cannabis bill but are a GREAT risk to mess it up.

Now Labor expects the debate to begin September 2019. (less than 4 weeks away). This will result in another internal vote to confirm its progress, resulting in amendments, then a new committee on amendments then final vote and passing into law. Labor thinks this can happen by the last session in October 2019. I keep betting on by Xmas worse case.  

What could go wrong? – Don’t want to put it out there but there is plenty. For every issue those that want to kill the bill have they have been resolved over 20 years ago in California and other states and countries since. There is no strictly Aussie scenario that should stop this.

However, Australia Liberal government is 100% against law reform, and that oozes from Liberals NSW to Hanson ACT MLA that says Cannabis causes cancer and other things that kills. He has a few ideas how to stall and kill the bill still.

Greens are a risk as they have to do something different to not be 100% inline with Labor. Currently that is wanting retail shops, and tripling the amount of plants and product etc etc..

However, all that considered Labor ACT is adamant it is all covered. We have even seen law enforcement, and lawyers associations raising issues and more importantly how to address those exact issues to allow legalisation to happen

Then what, well devil will be in the detail of the final bill. Likely folks can grow a few plants recreationally and hopefully more plants if needed medically. Hopefully that means communal grows so someone can grow plants for you.

1) How will access to Cannabis seeds be addressed to the satisfaction of the ACT govt.

2) How to address RDT Driving (my suggestion to the bill is add 1 sentence to it that Cannabis is no longer an illicit drug as a result of this bill) this changes many many many other laws in Australia.

3) How to address to the satisfaction of Liberals, that a conflict of Cannabis being legal in ACT but illegal in other states, and illegal Federally will not stop the law progressing. – Labor has answered this as has law enforcement and the ACT Law Society many times. Reminder: ACT has 25 Seats, 12 Labor, 11 Libs and 2 Greens with Labor / Greens in a coalition.
Result Legal Cannabis by Xmas in ACT – then see other states move.

Timeline Labor NSW Cannabis Bill 2019 – The ACT bill and timing matter greatly. Had voters voted Labor in NSW or Federally recently we would be further along.  The bill failed in 2017, 2018, but now the upper house in NSW sides with Labor and independents in votes allowing for a likely win on the new bill that is being fine tuned as we speak. Watch what happens in ACT to see what NSW does next. –

The current view of Libs in ACT and NSW is the status quo is fine and we pretend to luvz Cannabis as more anti-Cannabis industry is moving to Australia that fits into the Medical Cannabis Camp –

Meanwhile the original anti-cannabis activists that pushed the messed up 2016 anti-Cannabis pro CBD, pro pharma prohibition, are worried beyond belief as the lies come a tumbling down.

Cannabis law reform is like that, you can lie to people all the time but the truth comes out eventually.

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