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Responsible Choice posted a topic in News & NoticesSome one flicked this by me this evening through my site. I copy and paste it for your consideration... There is a very interesting new Senate Committee championed by David Leyonhjelm (LibDems) that covers a range of issues that infringe on the personal freedom of citizens. - e-cigarettes ban/tax - bar lockout laws - recreational cannabis - bike helmet laws - video game censorship This link is his press release on the subject… http://www.watoday.com.au/comment/voters-are-adults-and-dont-need-a-nanny-state-to-make-choices-for-them-20150716-gidlwa.html The committee is accepting submissions until the 24th August – at the below link http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Economics/Personal_choice Probably a rare opportunity to have our voices heard on this subject that I think we all feel pretty strongly about (or at least should feel strongly about) This only opened for submissions yesterday and by last night about 90% of the 34 submissions made are by the bike helmet crowd - lets make sure that the cannabis aspect is well represented and get some submissions in!
Yeti101 posted a topic in News & NoticesFrom now until 24 August 2015 (edit: this has been extended until September 18 and beyond - see further down for more details), you can make submissions to An inquiry into measures introduced to restrict personal choice 'for the individual's own good'. Full terms of reference can be found here: http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Economics/Personal_choice/Terms_of_Reference What’s most relevant is that this committee wants to know what you think about: The economic and social impact of legislation, policies or Commonwealth guidelines, with particular reference to: c.the sale and use of marijuana and associated products, including any impact on the health, enjoyment and finances of users and non-users; and f.any other measures introduced to restrict personal choice 'for the individual‘s own good‘. #C obviously covers recreational use, but maybe we could mention medicinal use too – not sure if we can stretch it to cover research, but it might be worth a try. Plenty to talk about, e.g: the cost of law enforcement, as well as personal choice, lower relative harm than other things, harm reduction and all that good stuff. Any ideas on how best to approach this would be appreciated. #F would allow a broader discussion of other the restriction of substances/sacraments etc, with a possible tie-in to (arguably) unwarranted government intervention into religious & spiritual practices. In my opinion, #F could possibly cover reference to relevant TGA schedules, or at least the power it has to make scheduling decisions. I'd be really interested to hear what others think about this. Personally, I just want to argue that adults should be treated like adults, especially in areas where my decisions have negligible effect on anyone else, and that what people can and can't grow and/or ingest should actually be backed up by good evidence. I’m not saying that this will magically lead to change. But I don’t know how often we will have a chance to get our opinions considered by a senate committee, especially one with the involvement of a supposedly pro-legalisation senator. We have (by my dodgy estimate) hundreds of members who drop in here at least every few weeks. If even 10% of these people write something then we will almost equal the anti-helmet campaign. If you haven’t made a submission to something like this before, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/How_to_make_a_submission might be worth a read. Some things from that page that are worth mentioning are: 1. A submission may be as short or as long as you like. It may contain facts, opinions, arguments or recommendations. It may cover all the points in the terms of reference or only some of them, depending on what interests you. Supporting documents may be attached. 2. There is no prescribed format. However, to make submissions most useful we suggest: •the terms of reference of the inquiry can be a good guide to structuring a submission; •if the submission is longer than a few pages, please include a summary at the front; and •submissions published on the Senate website will be converted to pdf format and, therefore, may have a different appearance to the document that was submitted. Sensitive material and confidential information should not be sent via email because it is not a secure medium. 6 a. The majority of inquiries are now accepting submissions via the Make a submission to an Inquiry page. The online submission site is a secure site and is suitable for uploading sensitive and confidential material. 10. Making a submission is protected by parliamentary privilege. It is an offence for anyone to try to stop you from making a submission by threats or intimidation. It is an offence for anyone to harass you or discriminate against you because you have made a submission. The content of the submission is also protected but only after the committee has accepted it. This means that what you say in the submission, once the committee has accepted it, cannot be used in court against you or anyone else. More information is available in another brochure, entitled 'Procedures to be observed by Senate committees for the protection of witnesses'. 11. A committee may reject a submission that is not relevant to its inquiry. In that case the content of the submission is not protected by parliamentary privilege. (This is just one reason it’s important to actually address the terms of reference). Sorry to be so long-winded, I really want to emphasize that (if you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident, and are not currently in jail) you have a right to participate in this inquiry should you choose to do so. The other thing you can do is to spread the word through other forums and communities (online and IRL) to encourage others to contribute. You can also 'remind' relevant organisations and lobby groups that they ought to be involved. (I’m talking about: EGA, PRISM, Australia 21, HEMP Party, Sex Party etc.) The bottom line is this: If you're unhappy because you can't legally smoke some weed for the shear fun of it or maybe you can't get access to the medicinal cannabis products that could improve your quality of life; if you think it insane that you can buy tobacco and alcohol, but face jail time for collecting or growing your own 'shrooms; if you use ayahuasca or mescaline bearing cacti as a sacrament and feel that you are being criminalised for your spiritual beliefs; if you are incandescent that you can legally get addicted to codeine but can't buy kratom; in other words, if you think things could or should be better, then you should make your voice heard.