Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Budget 2018: Leyonhjelm Cannabis Bill progressing

Download PDFDownload PDF

SENATOR DAVID LEYONHJELM Leader of the Liberal Democrats


10 May 2018

Leyonhjelm Cannabis Bill Progressing

Legal recreational marijuana moved a step closer today with the Senate agreeing to hold an inquiry into removing restrictions via a Liberal Democrats Bill.

Senator David Leyonhjelm introduced his Removing Commonwealth Restrictions on Cannabis Bill in the Senate yesterday.

“I proposed that the Senate Legislation Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs examine my Bill, and am delighted that the Senate has today agreed to such an Inquiry,” Senator Leyonhjelm said.

“My Bill has been years in the preparation and reflects the long-standing policy of the Liberal Democrats to legalise cannabis.

“It complements my costing obtained from the Parliamentary Budget Office in 2016.”

Senator Leyonhjelm said he urged all interested parties to make submissions to the inquiry.

“This is the cautious, deliberate process required to eventually achieve progress in this area,” he said.

“I welcome the recent announcement from the Greens that they now support the legalisation of cannabis and I await their proposed bill, notwithstanding my disagreements over design.”

A factsheet on the Liberal Democrats’ Bill compared to the Greens’ recent announcement is attached.

Media: Kelly Burke 0408 734 586



Leyonhjelm Bill compared to Greens’ policy

Liberal Democrats Greens

Policy to legalise cannabis since the party’s formation in 2001. Policy to legalise cannabis since April 2018.

Bill introduced and subject to Inquiry. Costing obtained and released in 2016. No Bill, Inquiry or costing to date.

No cannabis excise. Officials admit the high tobacco excise is prompting a growing criminal black market.

Propose a cannabis excise, which will ensure that a criminal black market in cannabis continues.

Bill is deregulatory and respects federation.

Removes all Commonwealth offences and civil penalty provisions for dealings with cannabis.

Allows States to maintain bans if they wish. Leaves regulation to the states, as per alcohol and tobacco regulation. Bill constitutional.

Regulatory, centralised approach favoured.

Unlikely to remove all Commonwealth offences and civil penalty provisions for dealings with cannabis.

Extensive Commonwealth intervention and apparent over-riding of the States, without any head of power in the Constitution.

No Commonwealth agency. Establish a Commonwealth agency to be a monopoly wholesaler and licence growers and retailers.

No bias against efficient private production. Desire to avoid ‘big cannabis’.

No plain packaging requirement or ban on advertising, noting clear evidence that plain packaging has failed to reduce smoking.

Plain packaging and a ban on advertising, which will undermine business efforts to develop a reputation for quality.

No dictating of how States may regulate. Requirement for service-of-cannabis training and certificates, despite problems with service-of-alcohol certificate requirements.