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Author Topic: [Aus] Fears Canberra will turn into a 'fantasy land' of drug users are shut down  (Read 4728 times)

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Fears Canberra will turn into a 'fantasy land' of drug users are shut down after ACT decriminalised cocaine, ecstasy and meth

3 September 2023

Some excerpts:
  • ACT to decriminalise almost all illicit drugs
  • Police expressed concerns over the move
  • A criminal defence lawyer has allayed fears
Fears Canberra could become a 'fantasy land' of drug abuse following the decriminalisation of hard drugs have been sensationally shut down.

The ACT is set to become the first state or territory in the country to decriminalise illicit drugs such as ice, cocaine and heroin in small quantities from October 28.

The move has sparked concern from police and politicians alike, with ACT chief police officer Neil Gaughan describing it as a 'drug fantasy land' when he fired up over the matter earlier this week.

'We will be seizing drugs and if anyone has anything that looks slightly more than what's allowed, we will lock them up for supply,' he said on Monday.

Mr Gaughan expects that decriminalisation will bring revellers to Canberra when the laws are relaxed.

'It would be naïve not to think people won't come down, even for a weekend, to get on the coke and not worry about the cops,' he told the Daily Telegraph.

Mr Gaughan said the new legislation could lead to conflict between bikie gangs, increased drug use and a high road toll.

But those fears have been allayed by criminal defence lawyer Adrian McKenna who slammed the moral panic over the move in Australia.

He claimed that decriminalisation would cut down the number of cases that sees offenders placed before a face court over minor drug offences.

Mr Mckenna described these cases as 'unnecessary court proceedings' and stressed the need to 'move away from crime punishment and scare tactics'.

'The reality is, a lot of drug possession cases are young people going through an experimental phase,' he told

'That can mean a criminal conviction that hangs with them for 10 years. Is that really what we should be focusing on?'

'There's also this scaremongering over Canberra, a one-bikie town, becoming something of a crime hub. That messaging is completely unhelpful and it doesn't promote what they should be focusing on - a smooth transition.'

Mr McKenna compared it to the fears that were whipped up when recreational cannabis was legalised in the territory. 

Under the new laws in the ACT, decriminalised amounts of drugs that would cost someone a $100 fine in the ACT include 1.5g of cocaine, meth and MDMA, and 1g of heroin

What drugs will be decriminalised?

The ACT will become the first Australian state to decriminalise illicit drugs in small quantities. These include:

Cocaine - 1.5grams

Meth - 1.5grams

MDMA - 1.5grams

Amphetamine - 1.5grams

Heroin - 1.5grams

Cannabis - 1.5 grams

Marijuana - 50 grams

Magic mushrooms - 1.5 grams

LSD - 0.001g

How decriminalisation will work in the ACT

Decriminalisation involves the removal of a criminal penalty for using or possessing small amounts of drugs.

There are two types of decriminalisation:

1. In law (de jure): where possession and personal use aren't a criminal offence. Instead of being charged, someone with a small amount of drugs may receive a fine, or referral to a health/treatment service - depending on the decriminalisation model used. This is the type of decriminalisation the ACT is introducing from October 2023.

2. In practice (de facto): where personal use and possession is still a criminal offence, but police and courts can use their discretion when enforcing the law.

Decriminalisation is not the same as legalisation, where drugs are regulated and allowed to be sold and bought according to government rules.

Decriminalised amounts of drugs that would cost someone a $100 fine in the ACT:

1.5g of cocaine, 1.5g of meth, 1.5g of MDMA, 1.5g of amphetamine, 1g of heroin, 50g of cannabis, 1.5g of magic mushrooms, 0.001g of LSD.

To see the whole article, please take the source link at the top of this post
« Last Edit: September 05, 2023, 04:53:37 PM by Chip »
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