On September 26th, a private member’s bill allowing ACT residents over the age of 18 to legally possess cannabis. This is limited to 50 grams of dry cannabis or 150 grams of wet cannabis and to grow two plants.
As reported by ABC News, Michael Pettersson, who put the bill forward, told the assembly:
‘’Some members of the community may wish this bill went further, such as establishing a market for the sale of small amounts of cannabis.
This would not be possible under current federal law, and has never been the purpose of this bill. This bill is simply about legalising cannabis for personal use.’’
The new laws will come into effect as of January 31, 2020 – with several restrictions.
Possession and growing remains a federal offense, as does the risk of prosecution if caught. According to a report by ABC News, Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said, in practice, those laws won’t apply.
Since it will remain illegal to sell and buy cannabis in the ACT it’s a mystery as to how residents will be able to get the herb, the seeds or seedlings to start with. In fact, Ray Johnson, ACT’s chief police officer confirmed that even if there’s no money exchanged, sharing marijuana still constitutes a state offense.
Jeremy Hanson, ACT shadow attorney-general, said the Liberal opposition would not be supporting the bill over fears that it was poorly drafted and would lead to ‘perverse outcomes’.
A spokesperson for the federal health minister, Greg Hunt, also confirmed the federal government did not support legalizing cannabis for recreational use.
No wonder Australia is called a ‘nanny state’. This is a perfect example of the consumer being caught between rock and a hard place.