Illicit Drugs For Personal Use Decriminalised in Australia's Capital Territory – The Epoch Times

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT), home of the capital city Canberra has become the first Australian jurisdiction to decriminalise illicit drugs in small quantities.
Laws passed the Territory’s parliament on Thursday, meaning people found with personal use amounts of nine different types of illicit drugs will not be criminally prosecuted.
Instead, they will be cautioned, fined or referred to a drug diversion program.
The substances decriminalised include heroin, cocaine and speed.
Health Minister Rachel Stephen-Smith said focusing on harm-minimisation rather than punishing drug users was the way forward.
“The ACT has led the nation with a progressive approach to reducing the harm caused by illicit drugs with a focus on diversion, access to treatment and rehabilitation and reducing the stigma attached to drug use,” she said.
“This sensible reform is based on the expert advice that a health-focused, harm reduction approach delivers the best outcome for people using drugs.”
There will be a 12-month transition period, meaning the laws won’t kick in until October 2023.
The government said they would use the transition period to bolster oversight arrangements and train frontline workers, including the police.
However, Canberra Liberals deputy leader Jeremy Hanson has condemned the “radical” move.
He is arguing that the decision was not taken to the polls to allow residents of the ACT to decide, and will lead to more criminal activity in the territory.
“It wasn’t taken to the community. It’s going to lead to more crime. It’s going to lead to more carnage on our roads,” he told the ABC.
“It’s not going to change the number of people going into the criminal justice system, and it’s not going to fix the problem that we have now, which is not enough people being able to access treatment.”


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