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. The ACL submission was in response to the Criminal Code and Other Legislation Amendment (Removing Commonwealth Restrictions on Cannabis) Bill 2018. The Bill was proposed by Senator Leyonhjelm.

While accepting 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.

The detrimental effects of legalising the recreational marijuana, though still significantly under-researched, appear to be considerable. 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.