THE West Australian government is set to roll out some of the toughest cannabis laws in the country in a bid to reduce the number of users.
WA Premier Colin Barnett announced two new legislations relating to drug use at the Liberal Party's state conference.
The government plans to toughen its cannabis law by reducing the legal possession limit from 30g to 10g and banning the sale of all smoking implements and paraphernalia.
To be introduced this week, the new legislation will repeal the former Labor government's Cannabis Control Act, which allowed people to cultivate two plants for personal use.
Under the new laws anyone caught with small amounts of the drug will have to undergo counselling and not re-offend in three years to clear their criminal record.
Anyone caught selling illegal smoking implements to minors will face a $10,000 fine.
While admitting he had never tried the drug, the premier said health authorities were adamant "the cannabis of today is far more potent and far more lethal than the cannabis of the 1960s and 1970s.
"What I hope would happen is a reduction in the usage of cannabis and that we will be far more effective in helping people to stay away from drugs and rehabilitate if they have a drug problem," Mr Barnett said.
"Almost 80 per cent of admissions (to psychiatric hospitals) are somehow drug related."
Under the second new law WA police will be given unprecedented powers to frisk people for drugs and weapons.
The new search law, to be introduced before Christmas, would mean police would no longer be required to prove grounds of suspicion in court.
October 11, 2009