ACT’s New Cannabis Laws: What You Need To Know

The ACT is officially the Wild West of Australia – in addition to selling fireworks and hardcore porn, it is now legal to grow and smoke marijuana. No, really. Here’s what you need to know.

The ACT Legislative Assembly is set to pass a landmark law that will effectively legalise cannabis use in Canberra. It’s the same bill that has been kicking around since 2018, albeit with several amendments.

This will make the ACT the first Australian state or territory to legalise cannabis for recreational use. (It is currently illegal to possess any quantity of cannabis in Australia outside of medicinal use, which requires a special licence.)

However, before you pull up your marijuana plants and move interstate, there are some significant restrictions it pays to be aware of. In the words of one Jules Winnfield: it’s legal, but it ain’t 100 per cent illegal. Below are the main rules and caveats.

How much cannabis can you legally own in the ACT?

It will be legal to possess 50 grams of cannabis at any one time, which is not an inconsiderable amount. To put that into context, a “stick” or small baggy of the green stuff typically weighs under two grams.

How many cannabis plants can you grow in the ACT?

It will be legal to grow two plants. You need to use private property, however – growing it in community gardens will remain against the law.

Where can you smoke cannabis in the ACT?

Basically, you’re restricted to the privacy of your own home. It will remain illegal to use cannabis in a public place. In other words, don’t expect any hash bars to spring up like in Amsterdam or the US any time soon.

You also need to keep at least 20 metres away from children.

Can you sell cannabis in the ACT?

No. Selling plants, leaves or seeds will remain an offence. It will also be illegal to share cannabis with another person which constitutes drug supply.

Can a cop still charge me?

Possibly. Commonwealth law – which prohibits cannabis – will remain unchanged. As The Canberra Times reports, police will still have discretion to charge someone under these laws.

So you’re not totally in the clear. People with douchey countenances, take note.

When do the new laws kick in?

The ACT health minister will need to sign off on the law which is expected to come into effect in January, 2020. So don’t light up in front of the coppers just yet.

Are the new laws here to stay?

Not necessarily. The Liberal Party are strongly opposed to the bill (natch) and have warned it will lead to more cannabis use and increased rates of psychosis. A review of the laws will be conducted within three years.

Anything else I should know?

According to The Canberra Times it will still be illegal to operate a vehicle with any amount of cannabis in your system. So that 50 grams is only legal when you’re not driving.

[Via Canberra Times]


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