Templar – Aquitanium Premier Anne McBride announced today that her state would become the first in Sanctaria to legalise the consumption of marijuana, likely from May next year. The policy move was a part of McBride’s coalition partners, the Green Party, in the inaugural state elections. While it was not a part of McBride’s state DLP manifesto, she has said in the past she was open to legalisation.
The governing DLP-Green coalition expressed hope that legalising the drug, and making it available only from licensed premises to those over the age of 18, would enable people to enjoy it in a safer and more responsible manner, and would “remove the allure”. McBride also added that “the evidence that marijuana is any more dangerous than alcohol, either in the short, medium, or long-term, just isn’t there.”
A recent survey revealed that 72% of Sanctarians had tried marijuana at least once in their life. 47% reported smoking or ingesting marijuana or marijuana based products on a regular (at least once a year) basis.
McBride also insisted that legalising the drug will be a boon to the exchequer, claiming that by taxing the product rather than allowing it be sold dangerously on the black market, revenue raised can be put towards state-funded programs on addiction and mental health.
The NSP and the CUP both came out strongly against the measure, however in a surprise move the state SCP party announced they would be allowing a free vote on the matter, likely due in part to a not insignificant minority of their parliamentary representation openly in favour of legalisation. The federal position of the SCP is for marijuana to remain criminalised.
JOEY SESSIONS, Political Editor