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Green light: cannabis possession and use is now legal in Canberra

As of yesterday, people over 18 can now legally own and use cannabis in the ACT. The new laws allow individuals to be in possession of up to 50 grams of dried cannabis, and territory residents to grow two plants per person or four per household on their private property.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison assured the public that he wouldn’t be “partaking” in the new changes, so won’t be using the opportunity to light up in the halls of Parliament House anytime soon.

Weed legalisation ACT cannabis
Photo: Yarygin/iStock

New laws have legalised the use of cannabis in the ACT, but you won’t be able to partake right outside Parliament House just yet.

While these new laws are a groundbreaking step towards national legalisation, there’s a few things to keep in mind before making the trek to the nation’s capital.

Canberrans can only smoke in the privacy of their own homes, with penalties enforced for anyone caught smoking in public. Something as simple as sharing a joint between friends can land you up to five years jail time and/or a $80,000 fine.

While people can legally own weed for personal use, it’s still illegal to buy or sell. This means that there’s no way to legally acquire seeds to grow the plants that these new laws allow you to own.

Police are also still able to prosecute people for possession under commonwealth law, rather than state law.

ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsay said he would be “disappointed” if commonwealth laws were to be used to prosecute users, and that the ACT government are prepared to defend the laws in court.

“This isn’t about legalising and getting a system of sale going on … all we are doing is providing a legal excuse for adults.”

“They are small changes. They are important changes.”