Legal Drugs V Cannabis

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BY Mitch

With some states in America legalising cannabis for recreational purposes, it has rekindled debate about whether there should be some legislative changes here. For now, we compare legally used drugs and cannabis, which is illegal to use for recreational purposes in Australia.


Millions throughout the world suffer from preventable diseases attributed to smoking tobacco. Worldwide, it is estimated tobacco will account for 5 million deaths per year. The Australian Government received $3.5 billion in 2010-11 in taxes from tobacco, or 2.5% of total revenue.


It was reported this year that 5.9% of all deaths worldwide can be attributed to the harmful use of alcohol. A further study concluded that 25% of all deaths in the 20-39 years age group could be attributed to alcohol. The Australian Bureau of Statistics identified 13.4% of people over 18 years old in 2007-08 drank at high risk levels. In 2010, the Australian Government received $8.6 billion in taxes or 7% of total revenue.

Prescription Drugs

The Age reported last year that deaths due to the misuse of prescription drugs actually passed those killed on our roads. Deaths due to overdose of prescription drugs accounted for 82% of all drug overdose deaths in 2013.

Cannabis, Pot, Mary Jane, Dope, Green…

  • Has been shown to stop cancer growth
  • Has reduced neurological impairment
  • Relaxes muscles, antispasmodic
  • Effective treatment for migraines and PMS
  • Can be used successfully to treat glaucoma, ADD, ADHD
  • Reduces IBS, Crohn’s Disease
  • Effective in treating epilepsy and Alzheimer’s
  • Can be manufactured into biodegradable plastic, paper, fuel, solvents, lubricants, industrial textiles, consumer textiles and building materials
  • Could possibly end deforestation and can be grown almost anywhere.

Still wondering why it’s illegal?

It is illegal to use, possess, grow or sell cannabis in Australia, but the penalties for cannabis offences are different in each state and territory.

The law in Victoria is, basically, a police officer may give someone a caution and offer them the opportunity to attend a cannabis education program if they are caught with no more than 50 grams of cannabis. Like New South Wales, only two cautions are allowed to be given to the one person.

Information for this article was sourced from the National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre (NCPIC).

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