Legalising cannabis: government could collect $28billion in taxes
29th January 2023

Plan to legalise cannabis in Australia and use it to pay for a massive increase to Centrelink dole payments

  • Taxes could then fund a dole increase of $80 a fortnight
  • Canada has already greatly loosened its restrictions 

The Greens are pushing a radical plan to legalise cannabis, tax it heavily and use the proceeds to pay for a massive hike to Centrelink payments.

A new study has found that legalising cannabis in Australia could raise up to $28billion in taxes over a decade and take money away from organised crime. 

The Greens commissioned the Parliamentary Budget Office research which found it would mean the JobSeeker and Youth Allowances could be increased by $80 a fortnight.

Canada has already greatly loosened restrictions, allowing cannabis to be bought by those aged 18 and over at both government-run shops and licensed retailers.

Legalising cannabis in cannabis in Australia could raise up to $28billion in taxes in a decade. Pictured is a woman smoking weed

It is still a crime in Canada to sell marijuana to a child, smoke in public, grow more than four plants at home or to carry more than 30 grams.


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The Greens’ proposal, if it was to become law, would allow people to legally grow grow six plants, but it would still be against the law to sell cannabis to kids.

Senator David Shoebridge, who is the Greens’ justice spokesman, said the pot taxes could also be used for housing.

‘($28billion is) enough to build affordable homes for 280 000 people or raise Jobseeker by $80 a fortnight,’ Mr Shoebridge tweeted.

‘The costing assumes 10% of the cannabis sold under the scheme would be sold to tourists, with the potential this could grow. 

‘This green gold could become the life blood of many regional areas currently struggling for viable local industries.’

Drugs legislation is a state issue, but the Greens say cannabis could be regulated federally under section 51 of the constitution.

The Greens are calling for marijuana to be legalised. Pictured is a commercial marijuana growing operation

‘Legal cannabis makes enormous social and economic sense,’ Mr Shoebridge told News Corp. 

‘When we legalise cannabis we take billions away from organised crime, police and the criminal justice system and we can then spend it on schools, housing, hospitals and social support.’

The money would be raised by GST on sales, a 15 per cent cannabis sales tax and company tax on profits.

If a higher cannabis sales tax of 25 per cent cannabis sales tax was used, the tax raised over the decade of operation could be as high as $36billion.

The Greens plan would establish a Cannabis Australia National Agency (CANA) which would oversee the legalising of the sale and production of it through close regulation.

CANA would be the sole wholesaler between producers and sales outlets, and set the wholesale price of cannabis – which would be based initially on the Australian street price of cannabis, and then fluctuate according to market forces.

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