Nearly 75% of Australian citizens, aged 22 and over, have used Hemp for at least once . In Australia, the occasional cannabis consumption is also among the highest in the world. It ranks 7th in the United Nations World Drug Report in 2014.
Canberra, the Australian capital, became the first part of the country to legalize cannabis after a historic vote on Tuesday night the 24 of September 2019.
Australian Hemp is legal
Legislators in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) have passed legislation allowing people aged 18 and over to own and grow cannabis for personal use. The new law, passed by the local government, will enter into force on 31 January 2020.
Under the new regulations, residents of the territory may legally own up to 50 grams of hemp .
And grow up to two plants per person, or four per household.
Drug laws differ across Australian states or territories, but possession of small amounts of cannabis is a crime. Under the current law, cultivating one or two cannabis plants or possessing 50 g (1.76 ounces) of cannabis is punishable by a fine of A $ 160 (€ 100), while possessing more than 50 g (1 , 76 ounces) of cannabis is punishable by a fine of up to A $ 8,000 (€ 5,000) and / or two years in prison.
So Cannabis is the most abused illicit drug in Australia. Over the 2017-2018 year, more than 72,000 cannabis arrests were made in Australia, 92% of which were from consumers.
In contradiction with the federal laws
The new ACT law is in contradiction with national drug laws in the Australian Parliament prohibiting the possession of cannabis. But the federal government could annul the law of the Territory.
This is not the first time that ACT laws conflict with national laws.
In 2013, ACT legalized same-sex marriage, later overturned by a decision of Australia’s highest court, which ruled that the legislation in force was contrary to national law. Therefore the Australian Parliament then passed in 2017 a law to legalize the “marriage for all”.
ACT also hosted this year’s first drug testing facility at a music festival so that consumers could have their products tested before they could be taken.
On the cannabis side, the Australian Parliament adopted in 2016 an amendment allowing the cultivation of cannabis for medical or scientific use.
The country counts both the provision of medical cannabis for its patients and becoming one of the largest exporters of cannabis in the world.