Wednesday, 20 March 2019

Submission to the Inquiry into Drugs of Dependence (Personal Cannabis Use) Amendment Bill

The Law Society made a submission to the Standing Committee on Health, Ageing and Community Services regarding its Inquiry into the Drugs of Dependence (Personal Cannabis Use) Amendment Bill 2018.

The Drugs of Dependence (Personal Cannabis Use) Amendment Bill 2018 was presented to the Legislative Assembly on 28 November 2018 by Mr Michael Pettersson as a Private Member's Bill. The Bill was subsequently referred to the Committee for inquiry and report by 6 June 2019.

The Society notes that the Bill would amend the Drugs of Dependence Act 1989 and the Criminal Code 2002 to permit an adult person to possess up to 50g of cannabis and to cultivate (non-artificially) 1 to 4 cannabis plants for personal use. The Society supports the policy intent of the Bill insofar that it seeks to both remove recreational cannabis users from the criminal justice system and allocate police resources towards more serious crime.

We strongly recommend, however, that the Bill should be revised, as the amendments give rise to a number of legal uncertainties. 

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