Australia’s National Drug Research Institute released a report on June 13 which recommends drastically reducing penalties for pot possession.
The report, submitted to Victoria’s Parliamentary Drugs and Crime Prevention Committee, recommends that a warning be issued for first-time possession of up to 50 grams of cannabis or three mature plants, and a fine of up to $150 but no criminal conviction on subsequent occasions. Those not paying the fine must attend a “cannabis education” class.
Selling up to 50 grams would get a $150 fine. Possession or selling of larger amounts would get a criminal record. Selling to a minor would get severe criminal penalties.
“The model of cannabis law we have recommended combines the best features of the infringement notice systems in place in South Australia, the ACT and the Northern Territory, with the cannabis cautioning systems that are already in place in Victoria and Western Australia,” said NDRI researcher, Simon Lenton.
NDRI press release: www.curtin.edu.au/curtin/centre/ncrpda/news/media/20000613cannabis_laws.html
Australian Drug Foundation, Cannabis and the law www.adf.org.au/drughit/facts/hdayca.html#law
Australian Drug Foundation, Cannabis and psychosis: www.adf.org.au/drughit/facts/hdayca.html#psych
US National Institute on Drug Abuse report on marijuana health hazards: www.nida.nih.gov/Infofax/marijuana.html