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Fiona Patten says ‘we would be better off’ if we legalised cannabis in Victoria

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The passing of a bill legalising cannabis in the ACT yesterday has prompted renewed calls for legalisation here in Victoria.

Under the new laws, which are set to come into effect on January 31 next year, adult Canberrans will be legally allowed to possess up to 50 grams of marijuana and grow two plants.

The federal government is not happy, and has indicated it may move to overturn the new laws in the territory.

“I really do think it’s a bad move and I just think it’s unconscionable, and I think it might be trendy for the ACT government to go down this path and they’ll say they’re enlightened and progressive, and all the rest of it. But i think it’s dangerous, particularly given that the THC content in much of the cannabis today, because it’s grown in factories, essentially… is quite dangerous,” Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton told 2GB’s John Stanley earlier today.

But Reason Party leader Fiona Patten has commended the ACT for passing the laws, saying it will strengthen the push towards legalisation in Victoria.

“I think it’s absolutely a step in the right direction,” she told 3AW’s Nick McCallum.

“It’s legalisation, but not legalisation as the rest of the world knows it.”

Ms Patten said the current Australian approach to cannabis is not curbing consumption, and is causing unnecessary harm.

“Australia is the largest cannabis user in the world,” she said.

“We use more cannabis per capita here than any other jurisdiction in the world.”

The Reason Party leader said an upper house inquiry into cannabis use in Victoria, which will begin late this year, will be looking closely at what happens in the ACT.

“The question we’ve asked in that inquiry is: how do we keep cannabis out of the hands of young people and criminals?,” she said.

“We would be better off if it wasn’t grown in the hands of criminals and it was grown under controlled circumstances.

“If we want to control who uses it we need to control the industry, we can’t leave that to criminals.”

Press PLAY below for the full interview.

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