Australian Capital Territory Decriminalizes Small Amounts of Drugs Including Heroin, Cocaine

A social experiment has taken hold in Australia’s capital city to decriminalize drugs and offer health-based programs instead of detaining drug users.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) – based in the capital city of Canberra – passed legislation on October 20 to decriminalize low dose drugs. publicationThis is Australia’s first jurisdiction.

of Addictive Drugs (Personally Owned) Amendment Bill 2022, introduced by Labor MP Michael Peterson, decriminalizes only very small amounts of drugs. Punishments are reduced to warnings, small fines, or drug diversion programs.

The bill was approved by a vote of 13 to 6. There is a 12-month transition period from October 2023.

“From late October 2023, possession of certain small amounts of illegal drugs will be decriminalized,” the announcement said. “This means that people can no longer face a prison sentence and instead could be fined $100 or sent to an illegal drug diversion program. If so, the person faces a fine of up to $160, reduced from a fine of 50 units and/or two years’ imprisonment.

“This reform will reduce the stigma and fear of those who use drugs to access health services,” the announcement continues. “By diverting people into drug diversion programs, people who use drugs are provided with the medical services and support they need while providing a route out of the criminal justice system.”

That means the Canberra will no longer face the possibility of a prison sentence and will instead get a slap on the wrist.

Over the next 12 months, the government will implement surveillance regimes, conduct training for frontline workers such as the police, and develop public communication with the police, alcohol and drug departments, academic experts, and people with real-life experience. let’s start doing ….

Maximum limits apply specifically to various drugs: 1.5 grams of cocaine, 2 grams of heroin, 3 grams of MDMA, 1.5 grams of methamphetamine, 2 grams of amphetamine, 2 grams of psilocybin, 2 milligrams of lysergic acid and finally 2 milligrams of LSD.

ACT officials who supported the bill believe a more health-focused approach to addiction is more effective than locking them in.

“ACT has led the country in its progressive approach to reducing harm caused by illicit drugs, with a focus on diversion, access to treatment and rehabilitation, and reducing the stigma associated with drug use.” said ACT Health Minister Rachel Stephen Smith. increase.”

Guardian report Canberra Liberal Party deputy leader Jeremy Hanson denounced the law as “radical”.

“It wasn’t brought into the community. It would lead to more crime. It would lead to more carnage on our streets,” he said. Said ABC. “It will not change the number of people entering the criminal justice system, nor will it solve the current problem of not enough people having access to treatment.”

Pettersson says that people who use stimulants are often people who are actually in a mental state. most necessary of assistance from medical services.

“People who use recreational drugs are at risk, and certain drugs are more harmful than others,” he said. Said“When people are using substances like methamphetamine, we need to stop criminalizing them and make it easier for them to come forward and access the support they need.”

Weed has been decriminalized in the ACT for nearly 30 years.

In Washington DC, the capital of the United States, Psilocybin, ayahuasca and mescaline are decriminalized,and decriminalize all drugs in progress.

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