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Discussion in 'Drug Policy Reform & Narco Politics' started by Alfa, Mar 23, 2004.

  1. Alfa

    Alfa Productive Insomniac Staff Member Administrator

    Reputation Points:
    Jan 14, 2003
    117 y/o from The Netherlands

    CANBERRA - Western Australia has become the second state to
    decriminalise cannabis in a bid to reduce the police and courts
    workload and divert more users to counselling.

    Possession of small amounts of cannabis is already decriminalised in
    South Australia, and in the Northern Territory and the Australian
    Capital Territory - both self-governing, but still subject to federal

    The new WA laws, which came into effect yesterday, are part of a
    growing trend to ease prosecutions for cannabis possession, which make
    up by far the largest drug caseload for Australia's law agencies.

    Although no Government has accepted arguments for the legalisation of
    the drug, numerous reports and studies have recommended its removal
    from criminal sanctions. New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland
    still treat cannabis possession as a criminal offence, but give police
    wide discretion.

    The new WA laws provide for fines of up to A$150 ($170) and compulsory
    drug education classes for people caught with up to 30g of cannabis,
    or a A$200 fine for growing two plants.

    As in South Australia, the far more potent hydroponically grown plants
    remain illegal, and dealing is still a criminal offence. In SA, fines
    of up to A$150 may be imposed on people caught with less than 100g
    grams or one non-hydroponically grown.

    The Liberal Opposition has condemned the new laws and has promised to

    repeal them when it is returned to power.