Legalise Marijuana to Lessen Alcohol-Fuelled Violence
The Australian Sex Party has called on the Prime Minister to legalise marijuana in Australia as the most effective and immediate way of lessening alcohol-fuelled violence in Australia and redefining Australian late night street culture.
Legalising marijuana also has the advantage of raising many millions of dollars in taxes that could be put to national drug and alcohol education programs.
Sex Party President, Fiona Patten, said that the effects of smoking were almost the opposite of alcohol. “Too much alcohol makes people aggressive”, she said. “Too much marijuana puts them to sleep”
She said the latest National Drug Strategy Household Survey (2010) showed that 10.3% of all Australians (14+) had used cannabis in the past 12 months and that 35.4% had used cannabis at some time in their life. “Most of these people will tell legislators that marijuana made them less violent than if they had used alcohol”, Ms Patten said. “Many of those who go out and binge on alcohol for a night would swap for marijuana if it was legal”.
Most consumers of cannabis are NOT problematic users and but for the few who are, the financial burden of their problem is borne by the rest of the non-cannabis smoking community. If the product is taxed, then the cannabis smoking community pays for those who need help - freeing up of vital healthcare money for elsewhere.
Ms Patten said that opening up Dutch-style marijuana cafes in problem areas like Kings Cross would radically affect levels of violence by changing the culture of these areas. “I lived in the Kings Cross precinct for 10 years and saw the changes happening first hand”, she said. “When the NSW government closed down adult shops, table top dancing etc, the only entertainment left for many patrons was all night drinking. Opening legal marijuana cafes like Amsterdam would lead to more restaurants, galleries, tea and coffee houses and a more diverse range of late night venues. You don’t see alcohol-fuelled violence on the streets of Amsterdam late at night”*.
Fiona Patten: 0413 871 604
Robbie Swan: 0413 734 613
*Amsterdam is actually one of the safest cities in the world. International consultancy Mercer ranked Amsterdam 22 out of 215 world cities for personal safety in its 2008 Quality of Life Survey. Fellow European capitals Paris and London didn't even make the top 50.