On 10 May 2018 the Senate referred the provisions of the The Criminal Code and Other Legislation Amendment (Removing Commonwealth Restrictions on Cannabis) Bill 2018 for inquiry by the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee.
The proposed bill, by Senator Leyonhjelm, would remove Commonwealth barriers to the legalisation, regulation and taxation of cannabis. As such, the passage of this bill would allow any State or Territory Government to legalise and regulate cannabis.
Public submission were sought with the committee to report its findings by 17 August 2018.
The Australian Christian Lobby strongly opposed any changes to Federal legislation that would enable States to legislate for the recreational use of marijuana or cannabis products.
While noting the benefits of medicinal marijuana, the submission provided evidence to show that the recreational use of cannabis can have serious short term and long term effects. Research has shown that marijuana’s negative effects on attention, memory, and learning can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off, depending on the person’s history with the drug. The link between cannabis consumption and psychosis has been suggested, as well as links to oral cancers and cancer of the oesophagus, amongst other health risks.
ACL recommended that Federal legislation remain as an impediment to States legislating for recreational use of marijuana or cannabis products in the interests of public health and safety.