Victoria ALMOST legalised the growing of a small number of cannabis plants at home for personal use. ALMOST! And almost removed small cannabis convictions from people’s criminal records and almost saved Young People from becoming involved in the criminal system for possession of small amounts of cannabis.
After a two-year State Parliament enquiry, looking at evidence from both Australian and international health and legal experts who supported the decriminalising of cannabis for personal use, at the last minute, it was “watered down” with the final report going against the expert recommendations and all the hard work of the politicians that had worked on the report.
The basis of the report was to keep young people safe and out of the criminal justice system (more young people smoke weed than smoke cigarettes), keeping them away from harder criminals, improving treatment and education system and destigmatising cannabis use.
Instead, the report has ignored the advice of experts in the field and instead turned the previously discretionary powers of police to give a caution now into a mandatory response. A review of school drug education is the only other outcome.
Victoria remains behind many other states in its drug laws.
Possession of cannabis has been decriminalised in the Northern Territory South Australia, and the ACT for nearly 30 years. The Labour government has allowed adults to grow and possess small amounts for personal use in the ACT since 2020.
There will be a “minority report” released for those disappointed in the outcome.
“Legalisation is the only way forward, to undermine underground criminal activity, saving all the costs involved in criminal law enforcement and instead putting that money back into health and treatment”.
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