Marijuana could be legalized for recreational use in Victoria, Australia’s second-most populous state, as lawmakers are campaigning to end longtime bans on the substance.
Victorian members of parliament are urging officials to contemplate following Colorado and California by permitting adults to possess and purchase marijuana for personal use without being fined or charged, the Daily Mail reports.
The parliamentary Inquiry Into Drug Law Reform initiated a report following a visit to the United States. The eight-person committee toured Sacramento and Denver to witness their recreational use of marijuana laws in action.
The committee’s report said, “The committee found this is an area of drug law reform worthy of further investigation.”
Geoff Howard, a state Labor MP who chaired the parliamentary inquiry, said current laws banning mind-altering drugs have failed. He stated, “Historically, the approach to drugs both internationally and in Australia was based on prohibition of recreational drug use. There is growing recognition that a dominant focus on law enforcement strategies has not eradicated the supply or demand for such substances, but has contributed to increased harms such as overdoses and black market crime.”
The 640-page parliamentary report also analyzed how medical marijuana could be legalized so doctors could prescribe it for their patients.
In South Australia and the Australian Capital Territory, possession of small amounts of marijuana has already been decriminalized.