Canberra legalises personal cannabis use


The ACT has officially legalised cannabis for personal use. But the move may be challenged by the Federal Government.

Elizabeth Neil reports.

TRANSCRIPT

In Canberra from the end of January next year it will no longer be illegal to grow two small plants of cannabis per person or four in a family.

Users will also be able to possess up to 50 grams without prosecution.

The ACT is now the first jurisdiction in Australia to legalise the personal possession and use of the drugs.

But politicians deny it will make Canberra the cannabis capital as well as the nation’s capital.

Michael Petterson, Labor MP: “This isn’t Colorado and this isn”t Canada. The ACT isn’t setting up retail stores of dispensaries.”

The legislation conflicts with Federal laws, and police could still arrest users under those regulations.

It’s also possible that the Commonwealth will challenge the legality of the decision.

The health Minister is convinced it’s a bad move.

Greg Hunt, Federal Health Minister: “It’s a very significant mental health risk. I think that the ACT has not taken these factors into account.”

Growing the cannabis may face another hurdle in Canberra.

The plants don’t like cold weather.

Elizabeth Neil, QUT News.