ACT government decriminalizes small amounts of drugs including ice cream, MDMA and cocaine

The ACT will become the first Australian jurisdiction to enact decriminalization for small amounts of illicit drugs. It will include ice cream, heroin, cocaine, MDMA and speed.

This isn’t the first health-based drug legislative approach in the ACT, with the nation’s capital decriminalizing marijuana in 2019.

The particular bill means that users found with personal amounts of the listed drugs will not be charged and instead will be fined, in line with recent changes proposed in New South Wales by the Attorney General. The ACT government says those found above what are considered personal amounts will still face the usual criminal charges.

As it stands, personal use is defined as 2 grams for most illicit substances, 0.5 grams for MDMA (ecstasy), or 0.002 grams for LSD (acid).

Labor backbench Michael Pettersson has launched an inquiry into the proposal to decriminalize small amounts of drugs and appears to have found support from the majority Labour-Green government. He was also behind the decriminalization of marijuana.

The ACT was one of the few places to do drug testing with touring festival Groovin The Moo for a few years before calling it quits this year, possibly in preparation for the move.

ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith weighed in, saying; “We know from research and evidence around the world that criminalizing drug users does not reduce drug use and that treating drug addiction as a health issue improves outcomes for all members of society. community,” further adding “This legislation is part of our broader suite of policies developed in partnership with experts, people with lived experience, and our alcohol and other drugs sector to help those at risk. no longer need to get the help and services they need when they need them.

A 2021 survey found that Canberrans “overwhelmingly” support the decriminalization of drugs with just 1 in 10 supporting imprisonment for drug possession.

If it becomes law, it will conflict with federal drug possession laws, with the federal government able to sue the ACT government and strike down the law as it has done in the past for the euthanasia and same-sex marriage before the latter was adopted at the federal level. .

The government still views drugs as harmful and will continue to disrupt the supply.

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