Australia’s capital Canberra and its surrounding region may soon be taking an important step towards the decriminalization of cannabis. Labor Party politician and state representative for Yerrabi, Michael Pettersson, has proposed a bill that would make possession of up to 50 grams of marijuana or four cannabis plants legal for adults in the Australian Capital Territory.
The local Labor Party is united behind the proposal, but they do need one extra vote to push it into legalization, which could come from either the Green or Liberal Party. Green Party parliamentarian Shane Rattenbury told Canberra Times that although he was behind the bill’s basic premise, he wanted to look it over more closely for any potential edits or additions before promising his vote. Rattenbury also indicated that the government should seek legal opinion on the bill’s complex legislative implications.
A representative from the Liberal Party Jeremy Hanson indicated that the Liberals would not be on board with the “ill-considered” bill, citing the region’s existing fine system for trace personal possession. “We think that that strikes the right balance,” he said. “We want to discourage marijuana use. It has a significant impact on psychosis, particularly for younger people and disadvantaged groups.”