Legalisation Debate

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Should cannabis be legalised in Australia?  Your response should provide a considered discussion of the advantages and disadvantages of both legalisation and criminalisation, which shows evidence of wide and varied reading. Cannabis, through the decades has changed dramatically from being an ancient herbal medicine to an illicit drug. Cannabis originated from Central Asia and was used as a healing agent, during rituals and as a spiritual euphoria. However, in most western countries this drug has been criminalized and made illegal by the Geneva Convention Dangerous Drugs Act (1925). Australia has decriminalized cannabis in all states since 1987. There has been a heated debate surrounding the legalization of cannabis. In order to further understand the reasoning between both sides I will be looking into the advantages and disadvantages of both the legalization and criminalization of cannabis. There are numerous advantages in legalising cannabis within Australia. Namely the utilitarian line of reasoning that proscription has failed to dissuade cannabis use and the economical and social costs of its continuance outweigh its benefits. (Hall, 1997). An advantage of legalising cannabis would facilitate the Australian economy to flourish by enabling the government to create revenue from taxing the cannabis industry. Cannabis is a billion dollar industry and by prohibiting it this money falls into the black market, in turn leaving a damaging impact on the economy. Currently marijuana is a cash crop with one of the highest dollar value yield in agriculture, up to $1250 per acre for the fiber (Oxford Hemp Exchange, 1998). Also by legalising this drug the government would be able to appropriately control the distribution and sales of how much is consumed by either increasing or decreasing the tax. The FDA could also regulate the quality and safety of drugs, which is safer than how it is currently in the hands of criminals in the black market. Another advantage of...
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