Legalisation of marijuana could generate $28 billion as new Parliamentary Budget Office report invigorates Greens Party campaign
A government report has found legalisation of cannabis could inject billions of dollars into the Australian economy.
A cost breakdown revealed legalising cannabis for adults would generate $28 billion, according to a Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) report commissioned by the Australian Greens Party.
Greens senator David Shoebridge said the money generated was enough to build 280,000 homes or raise Jobseeker by $80 a fortnight.
Under the Party’s “green gold” model, the legalisation of cannabis would allow adults to grow up to six plants at home tax-free.
As a result billions of dollars would be saved from police and criminal justice expenditure and redirected to schools, housing, hospitals and social support.
“This is an opportunity for some serious investment in social justice,” Mr Shoebridge said in a statement on Monday.
“The costing (also) assumes 10 per cent of the cannabis sold under the scheme would be sold to tourists, with the potential this could grow. This green gold could become the life blood of many regional areas currently struggling for viable local industries.”
The regulation of the drug would fall under the oversight of the Cannabis Australia National Agency which would be established to manage the production and sale of recreational marijuana.
It would act as the wholesaler between producer and retail outlets and set the price according to the drug’s street value.
While adults would be permitted to consume cannabis, it would be illegal to sell or distribute the drug to minors.
The constitutional legal advice that dropped on Monday added fuel to the Greens’ campaign for the first federal plan to legalise marijuana.
The PBO policy costing report revealed roughly 12 per cent of adult Australians consumed recreational cannabis on a regular basis – a figure that would rise to almost 14 per cent in the first year of its legalisation.
Mr Shoebridge said it was now time for the Parliament to catch up with community demand to legalise cannabis – a move that made “enormous social and economic sense”.