GREENS: Hinkler candidate Anne Jackson and Senator Larissa Waters spoke to residents in the Bundaberg CBD on Thursday.
GREENS: Hinkler candidate Anne Jackson and Senator Larissa Waters spoke to residents in the Bundaberg CBD on Thursday. Tahlia Stehbens

Hinkler candidate's push for marijuana green light

"DRUG use should be treated as a health issue, not a criminal issue”.

And if the Greens have any say after next month's federal election, marijuana for personal use could be legalised, according to Hinkler candidate Anne Jackson.

While medicinal marijuana has been legalised, Ms Jackson said reform should go further,

She said the Greens want to create a legal market for marijuana production and sale, which would "reduce the risks, put criminal dealers out of business and protect young people from unfair criminal prosecutions which will affect them for the rest of their lives”.

"The government's war on drugs has failed and does nothing but drive people away from getting help when they need it and expose them to a dangerous black market,” she said.

"The Greens' plan to legalise cannabis for adult use is a major step forward for drug law reform in Australia and is supported by the majority of Australians.”

Under the Greens' plan, individuals would be responsible for their own consumption.

"However, we also want to make sure that people have access to educational programs to minimise harm and risk and those with addiction and other drug-related problems have access to prevention, treatment and recovery facilities,” Ms Jackson said.

"Under our plan up to six plants can be grown for personal use.”

Ms Jackson said the Greens would establish an agency to issue licenses for production and sales, monitor and enforce license conditions and review and monitor regulations.

"The Australian Cannabis Agency will impose strict penalties for the sale of unlicensed or black market cannabis as well as the sale of cannabis to under age consumers and other breaches of license conditions,” she said.

Marijuana should be taxed and regulated just like alcohol or tobacco, Ms Jackson said.

"This will be a great boon for our local economy and will raise hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue that will help us pay for free TAFE and university, dental care that is covered by Medicare, affordable housing for all, and investment in renewables to tackle climate change, lower power bills, and create clean energy jobs,” she said.

Asked if she thought personal-use cannabis would be legal in the future, Ms Jackson said it would be "if people vote for the Greens at this election”.

"We're the only party committed to legalising cannabis use.”