NUG MAGAZINE: The Emerging Decriminalization States of The Commonwealth
Jan 17, 2024
The Emerging Decriminalization States of the Commonwealth
The movement toward cannabis decriminalization has been gaining momentum in various parts of the world, driven by changing societal attitudes, economic considerations, and a reevaluation of drug policy. The dynamics surrounding cannabis decriminalization are complex and multifaceted. Arguments in favor often include:
● Considerations of personal freedom.
● The redirection of law enforcement resources.
● Potential economic benefits through taxation and regulation.
On the other hand, opponents may express concerns about the potential impact on public health and safety. Commonwealth states are speeding up the process of decriminalizing cannabis so users may grow their plants for better health and the future. Canada: In 2018, Canada became the first G7 nation to legalize recreational cannabis. The Cannabis Act allows adults to possess and share limited amounts of cannabis for personal use and regulates its production and distribution. Jamaica: Jamaica, a Commonwealth country in the Caribbean, has a cultural history intertwined with cannabis. In 2015, the government amended its Dangerous Drugs Act, decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of cannabis and permitting the use of cannabis for religious, medicinal, and scientific purposes.
New Zealand: In 2020, New Zealand held a referendum on cannabis legalization for recreational use. Voters narrowly rejected the proposal, but the debate sparked discussions about potential future changes to cannabis laws. South Africa: Following a major 2018 judgment that decriminalized the private use of cannabis, it appears that South Africa could finally be inching toward the legalization of personal cannabis use. However, there are several asterisks — as there often are when it comes to cannabis reform. On Tuesday, the South African National Assembly approved a bill that would legalize the personal use of cannabis, BusinessLIVE reports. The Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill has been in the works since the country decriminalized private cannabis use in 2018 and now heads to the National Council of Provinces for concurrence the cannabis industry is just starting to get on its feet.
Although Australia still has restrictive cannabis laws, the situation is constantly changing. With medicinal cannabis legalized in Australia in 2016 and the Australian Capital Territory’s recent decriminalization of cannabis on the 20th of January 2020, Australia’s laws are slowly evolving. Still, it’s been a slow and grueling process. However, ambitious cannabis activists and entrepreneurs are pushing legalization closer. One of the most well-known is a dynamic Duo of Alec Zammitt & Will Stolk.
Will Stolk is a modern entrepreneur and used to be a professional freestyle and big-mountain skier traveling the world chasing winters all across the globe. This is where his love and affiliation for cannabis arose He’s now focusing on the growing cannabis industry with numerous investments made by his holding company Byron Bay Bio, the group has invested heavily into the California cannabis industry they currently co-own a cannabis dispensary in Lee Vining, California just in the footsteps of the world-famous Yosemite National Park called Tioga Green which was started by another former pro skier Cory Zila who was formerly a competitor on the freeride world tour with William. They also recently started a unique company called Pheno Hunts which is a cannabis flower company and Byron Bay CBD.
His business journey originally started when he created a lifestyle brand called Ballin’ On A Budget in 2010 which garnered millions of views per month on their website and a fan following of over 1 m fans on FB before their page was deleted for cannabis for posting cannabis-related content. You might know him as one-half of the Who Are We Hurting? group. They’ve been doing big and attention-grabbing things for the past five years to support making cannabis legal in Australia. He has a huge personality and quite a diverse resume that includes a long stint as a professional action sports athlete turned content creator and cannabis entrepreneur, while Alec comes from a more urban background, with graffiti being his origin story, and now he owns one of the world’s leading drug props companies and the infamous craze co.
Alec’s journey began as a graffiti artist and public relations expert, paving the way for an early immersion into guerrilla marketing. Driven by entrepreneurial spirit, he now oversees various businesses in Sydney, notably the Craze Collective—a hub for content creators and artists. Transitioning his love for public art into a platform for social impact, Alec actively champions drug reform policy in Australia. Today, he stands as the foremost resource for drug-related props in the film and television industry, his crew specializing in crafting impactful art installations and protest pieces that amplify their message.
Over the last five years, they have organized various expansive cannabis installations and high-profile events in support of cannabis-related protests and activities. The growing worldwide approval of cannabis for both medicinal and recreational uses indicates that the legalization of cannabis seems imminent. It can be especially exasperating for individuals who have dedicated a substantial portion of their lives to championing legalization or exploring the intricacies of cannabis production to witness Australia trailing behind other nations in this regard. Within the community, exceptionally well-versed in the subject, these local pioneers in the cannabis domain stand out for
their unmatched expertise. Having established valuable connections in the industry through the attention their stunts brought, they’ve been fortunate to contribute to some of our favorite Australian TV shows. These include successful productions like Foxtel’s “Mr Inbetween” and ABC’s “Les Norton.” They have also worked with shows such as Ernie Dingo’s stage show, “Bran Nue Dae.”
The importance of Decriminalizing cannabis has gained increasing attention due to its potential impact on various aspects of society. Here are some key reasons why many advocate for the decriminalization of cannabis:
Social Justice and Equity: One of the primary reasons for decriminalization is the pursuit of social justice. Cannabis prohibition has disproportionately affected certain communities, leading to a higher number of arrests and convictions among marginalized groups. Decriminalization seeks to address these disparities and promote fairness in law enforcement. Reducing the Burden on the Criminal Justice System: The criminalization of cannabis places a significant burden on the criminal justice system. Law enforcement resources are often diverted to cannabis-related offenses, leading to overcrowded prisons and strained judicial resources. Decriminalization can free up these resources to focus on more serious crimes.
Public Health and Harm Reduction: Decriminalization can be seen as a public health measure. Treating cannabis use as a health issue rather than a criminal one allows for a more compassionate and effective approach. It encourages harm reduction strategies, such as education and treatment, rather than punitive measures. Economic Opportunities: The cannabis industry has the potential to become a significant source of economic growth. Decriminalization opens the door to legal and regulated cannabis markets, creating jobs and generating tax revenue. This economic potential is particularly attractive to policymakers seeking new revenue streams. Personal Freedom and Civil Liberties: Advocates for decriminalization argue that adults should have the autonomy to make choices about their bodies, including whether to use cannabis. Decriminalization aligns with the principles of personal freedom and civil liberties, challenging the government’s role in regulating individual behavior.