ACT Set To Legalise Possessing And Growing Cannabis For Personal Use
The Australian Capital Territory is set to move a bold bill through the legislative assembly today.
The private member's bill being submitted from Labor backbencher Michael Pettersson would allow Canberrans over the age of 18 to possess and grow their own cannabis.
The specifics of the bill would permit eligible people to have 50 grams of weed on them and they can grow two plants.
If the legislation gets up, you can still get done by the police for possession of over 50 grams of cannabis, cultivating more plants, artificial cultivation, all use by minors, driving under the influence of drugs and selling cannabis.
Mr Pettersson said his main goal for organising this bill is to sort out the criminal justice system for low-level drug offenders.
"Because of our drug laws, getting caught with a small amount of cannabis can ruin your life," he said.
According to 7News.com.au, Labor will need the Greens to get the bill through and the party has already given their support.
The bill has had to go through several amendments in order for it to get to this stage and they've mainly been around preventing weed from ending up in the wrong hands. One of the amendments included a provision that would stop children getting into contact with the drug, namely not using it near kids and not planting seeds in community gardens.
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It will be interesting to see what happens on a federal level, considering those laws would still apply in some areas.
The bill put forward by Mr Pettersson states: "It is important to note that, even after the passage of this bill, possessing and growing cannabis will carry a degree of risk arising from interactions between Territory and Commonwealth law."
However it appears the federal government isn't going to get in the way.
"Commonwealth law has been written with the express understanding that there are differences," Mr Pettersson said.
"I don't think it's particularly likely the Commonwealth government will try to fight this."
The Commonwealth has intervened in the ACT before when it decided to legalise same-sex marriage in 2013. The day after it was announced, the federal government revoked the law and took the matter to the High Court.
Current law in the ACT does not permit anyone to administer cannabis to someone else, possess any quantity of it, cultivate or be involved in cultivating any quantity of it, or sell or supply any quantity of it.
Featured Image Credit: PA