Legalising cannabis for recreation is the obvious next step

The parliamentary inquiry's recommended legal medicinal use of cannabis was quite strictly defined to serious cases such as AIDS sufferers.
The parliamentary inquiry's recommended legal medicinal use of cannabis was quite strictly defined to serious cases such as AIDS sufferers.

OPINION: Is this the start of the legalisation of cannabis in Australia?

Last week, a parliamentary inquiry in New South Wales recommended the government in that state change the law to allow the legal use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

The committee included politicians from the Liberals, Nationals, ALP, Greens, and the Shooters and Fishers Party - and the report was unanimously adopted by all members.

Before ganja-lovers get too excited, it is important to point out this was simply a recommendation that is yet to be acted upon, and that NSW is a long way from many of us.

Also, the legal medicinal use of cannabis was quite strictly defined to serious cases such as AIDS sufferers.

Still, there have been a few cases in local courts recently where defendants on cannabis charges have argued their medical need for the drug, and if medicinal marijuana is allowed in NSW it probably won't be long before the Queensland government is asked to consider the same issue.

The question is, if medicinal cannabis was ever allowed in Australia, would general decriminalisation of the drug follow?

You only need to look at the US to see a similar scenario.

California was the first state to legalise the drug for medicinal purposes, and in 2012 Washington became the first state to decriminalise for the drug for recreational purposes.

The arguments against legalisation of cannabis tend to stress the term "gateway drug" - and many a defendant in court has been warned of the progression from cannabis to harder drugs in other offenders.

But the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre estimates more than a third of Australians have tried the drug, while figures for other drugs such as ecstasy, cocaine or methylamphetamine are all below 10%.

It seems a simple exercise in logic to realise the majority of the people who use marijuana don't end up using it as a gateway to more dangerous drugs at all.

Should marijuana be legalised for medicinal use, both medicinal and recreational use or not at all?

This poll ended on 22 May 2013.

Medicinal use - 8%

Medicinal and recreational use - 84%

Not at all - 7%

This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

Topics:  cannabis editors picks marijuana opinion roderick makim

Are you missing a watch? Police might have it

Is this your watch? If so, the police have it and want you to pick it up.

The hunt is on for the owner of a silver watch.

Three people transported to hosptial after car crash

Coffs Harbour police station sign NSW.  26 April  2016.

A car drove into an electricity pole in Hervey Bay.

Local Partners

Top floor teams take out The Block's terrace week

Kim and Chris pictured on their winning outdoor terrace in a scene from The Block.

RIVALS Kim and Chris and Julia and Sasha tie in final week of work.

Bob Dylan slammed as 'arrogant' for Nobel silence

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan.

Singer the controversial winner of literature Nobel

Shannen Doherty reveals fear of dying in post on chemo

Actor Shannen Doherty shared this image of her lying in a hospital bed after a chemotherapy session.

Actor has been fighting cancer since 2015

Eddie Redmayne's stage fright on latest Harry Potter film

Actor Eddie Redmayne stars in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Actor felt like kid again when he got to film with a wand

Salma Hayek: 'Trump planted story because I turned him down'

Actor Salma Hayek is the latest woman who says U.S presidential nominee Donald Trump acted inappropriately.

Salma Hayek latest woman to accuse Trump of misconduct

Brisbane snake catcher shows who's the Boss

Brisbane snake catcher Julia Baker returns in season two of Snake Boss.

Hit show Snake Boss is back for another season

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track