By Monique Hore, state political reporter
Reason Party leader Fiona Patten has promised a radical Bill to legalise cannabis within a year, if re-elected on Saturday.
The Legislative Council crossbencher was vital to establishing the state’s first drug- injecting centre in North Richmond, along with a voluntary euthanasia scheme.
“I will now turn my attention to the next big challenge — making cannabis for adult use legal,” Ms Patten said.
Victoria would become the first Australian state to legalise cannabis for recreational use.
Ms Patten said the plan was not a “pie-in-the-sky campaign promise”. She said it would deliver a $204 million benefit to the state through revenue and taxes, and reduced policing and prosecutions.
“Victoria, the most progressive state in the country, is ready for this change,” she said. “Legalising cannabis makes sense — it’s a no-brainer to most people.
“Across the world, communities are making this change and it is time for Victoria to yet again lead the way in this historic reform.”
Ms Patten’s position in the Upper House is under threat and, if re-elected, she would need to win support from the government to have recreational cannabis use legalised.
But she told voters she would “make this happen”, trading on her history of working with the government.
The bid to legalise cannabis is the latest in a suite of Reason Party drug policies, including one to allow pill testing.