Should Australia Legalise Marijuana?
Weed, Grass, Gunja, Mull, Maui Maui, Pot, Wacky Tabacky and Mary Jane. These are some of the names given to the most widely used narcotic in Australia today.
Australians love to use marijuana. We are not talking about medical usage either, we are talking about recreational use. It is most commonly used by people from 15 to 30 years old, though it is unique in the fact that a proportionally large number of older Australians regularly use the drug.
Medical marijuana was recently legalised at the federal level after the therapeutic properties were found to help people suffering from a wide range of illnesses such as epilepsy and cancer. Medicinal marijuana usually takes the form of cannabis oil that has been treated to remove the psychoactive properties. Some see this as a step towards legalisation, or at least de-criminalisation.
We want to focus on recreational use of the drug. Should Australia legalise recreational use of Marijuana?
Opponents to this idea say that the mental and physical health implications of a move to legalise marijuana would put a huge burden on the public health system. Long term use of marijuana has been linked to schizophrenia and depression, particularly in young males. Physical health problems such as cancer and other health complications related to smoking are also quoted as road blocks to legalisation.
Supporters of legalisation say that it could be regulated and taxed, much like tobacco and alcohol and that the money made off sales could bolster the public health system. The other big argument is that if it is legal and regulated, the black market would cease to exist. Police and the courts would be freed up to focus on other more serious crimes.
There are plenty of arguments for and against. We want to know what you think. Vote and tell us in the comments below what you think.