The capital of Australia legalizes recreational marijuana for adults over 18 years of age as of January 31, 2020
The capital of Australia legalizes recreational marijuana for adults over 18 and becomes the first jurisdiction in the country to legalize the possession and cultivation of marijuana for adults, a measure that goes against federal laws that may involve jail sentences for personal use of the drug.
Lawmakers in the Territory of Canberra voted a bill that allows people over 18 to own and grow marijuana for personal use. The law will begin to take effect in January 31, 2020.
The legalization of marijuana occurred after months of debate on policy, legal and health issues, and was carried out based on the example of the United States, where 11 states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana, although It is still illegal under federal law. The new law in the Australian Capital Territory, allows Canberra residents over 18 years of age to own up to 50 grams of dried marijuana and grow two plants per person or four per household at a time. The supply and / or sale of marijuana to others will remain a crime.
The legalization of marijuana for personal use makes the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) the first of the six states and two main territories of Australia to legalize cannabis for personal use. Drug laws are different in each state or territory. Under current ACT law, the fact of growing one or two cannabis plants or possessing 50 g (176 ounces) of cannabis carries a possible fine of 160 Australian dollars (108 US dollars), and possession of more than 50 g (176 ounces) of cannabis carries a maximum fine of 8,000 Australian dollars or two years in prison, or both.
According to Michael Pettersson, a Labor Party legislator who has promoted the bill, the legalization of marijuana for recreational use by adults in the Canberra is the first in Australia. Petterson says that now that the capital of Australia legalizes marijuana, it will help reduce drug damage in the community and reduce the stigma of marijuana as well as helping people seek help without fear of being arrested.
According to the Australian government, marijuana is the most widely used illegal drug in the country. Between 2017 and 2018, there were more than 72,000 cannabis-related arrests in Australia, and 92% of those arrested were for marijuana use. The new ACT law conflicts with national drug laws enacted by the Australian Parliament that prohibits the possession of marijuana.
Te capital of Australia legalizes marijuana but some activists believe that these federal laws may annul the new ACT law. It is not the first time it happens. In 2013, the ACT legalized gay marriage but the law was repealed by a decision of the highest court in Australia, which ruled that ACT legislation was incompatible with the national law. But the mentality is changing. In 2016, the Australian Parliament approved an amendment that allowed for the first time in Australia marijuana to be legally cultivated for medical and scientific purposes. But for now we can celebrate that the capital of Australia legalizes marijuana.