Australian Territories With Decriminalized Cannabis Laws
Listed here are states and territories with weed laws which have decriminalized minor cannabis offenses:
Decriminalisation versus Legalisation: What’s the Difference?
Pot laws enable authorities to have some leeway in how to prosecute cannabis offenders. Some legal authorities have taken steps to decriminalise minor cannabis charges, including personal-use possession. The term decriminalisation refers to an offense which can be handled with civil penalties like a fine, instead of criminal charges. This mean that minor possession of cannabis is regulated similarly to speeding, another common civil infraction.
Understand that this manner of offense is still illegal. Legalisation is a different process altogether. In such an instance, cannabis would no longer be considered an illicit drug, but would instead be perceived legally as tobacco or alcohol.
Medical Cannabis Laws Australia
From 2014 to 2016, Australian laws revolving around medical cannabis began changing. Starting in April of 2015, government entities in Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria drafted resolutions to engage in medical trials for cannabis. These trials were to start in 2016 or 2017.
In February 2016, the Narcotics Drug Act of 1967 was amended to allow for the establishment of licensed cannabis cultivation. While this amendment didn’t actually permit consumption of medical cannabis, it did solve the problem of how cannabis would be supplied. This was a step forward, as earlier attempts to legislate the matter had not made as much progress.
Two months later in April, Victoria passed the Access to Medical Cannabis Bill, providing a list of edicts for manufacturing, supplying, and accessing medical cannabis and salient products within Victoria. In July of 2016, the federal government allotted New South Wales a license to grow medical cannabis, the first of this breed of pot laws in Australia.
The month after this landmark decision, in conjunction with an amendment to the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Amendment Regulation Act of 2016, the NSW government began allowing medical professionals to petition for permission to prescribe cannabis-derived products not listed on the Register of Therapeutic Goods to their patients. The amendment in question caused some confusion; the system for approval was difficult to decipher, and the supply of cannabis plants was non-existent.
What About Other Aussie Territories Weed Laws?
When it comes to marijuana laws in the regions not already discussed, cannabis charges are automatically handled as criminal offenses. If a subject is charged and found guilty in Australia outside of the aforementioned regions, they will be facing significant fines, jail time, and the development of, or an addition to their criminal record.
It would be unlikely for a defendant caught with a minor amount of marijuana to be issued a criminal conviction if they’re a first-time offender. This is due to the diversion programs which exist in these states. Diversion programs seek to impede non-violent criminals who’ve violated drug-related statutes from becoming statistics in the criminal justice system. Instead these programs aim to funnel such offenders into treatment programs which educate about and treat conditions such as drug addiction. It is thought that such programs have considerable ability to halt the cycle of criminality linked to illegal drug use by highlighting the root causes behind illicit activity and managing drug problems as soon as possible.
Bear in mind that police officers involved in given cases of drug offenses have authority to decide whether or not to formally charge offenders or direct them to treatment programs (diversion). In addition, juveniles under the age of 18 and habitual drug offenders/violent offenders are not eligible for diversion. Instead, juveniles are eligible for treatment under state laws like NSW’s 1997 Young Offenders Act, an article of legislation designed to guide juvenile offenders away from the criminal justice system whenever possible.