Australia is one of the highest ranking countries in the world in terms of cannabis prevalence rate. Since the beginning of 2020, recreational cannabis has been largely decriminalized in the Australian capital territory (PLOT). Medical cannabis is also considered legal at the federal level and in all states, while qualification requirements vary from state to state.
Let’s see more details on the legality of growing and using cannabis in Australia.
Growing cannabis in Australia
Indoor cannabis cultivation in Australia is possible for low-THC strains and only with special permission from the federal government. Cannabis production in Australia is strictly controlled by the state.
Canberra is a notable exception to this rule as it became the first city in Australia to legalize recreational cannabis as of January 2020. Adult citizens are allowed to own up to 50 grams of dried herb and grow up to four cannabis plants per household for personal use, making Canberra an ideal place for home growers.
Medical marijuana became legal when the Australian Parliament passed the law Change in narcotic drugs It goes without saying, however, that while medical cannabis has become more accessible, patients must seek advice from their doctor or specialist in each state and area. If allowed and approved, the professional can apply to the government for access to medical cannabis.
The drugs must be registered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). Only one cannabis medicinal product is currently registered: Sativex, which is approved for the treatment of symptoms of multiple sclerosis. To obtain other products, clinicians must follow the Special Access Scheme or the Authorized Prescriber Scheme.
Of course, the laws differ in each state; A prescription for cannabis can be obtained in the Australian Capital Territory if your doctor is licensed and qualified (see the ACT Health website for details). But what about other states?
In South Australia, Western Australia and Queensland, patients can access medical prescriptions from their authorized and Commonwealth and / or state doctor approved cannabis when clinically appropriate. The same goes for New South Wales and Victoria. However, in Tasmania, a family doctor must refer you to a competent specialist who may prescribe medical cannabis after conventional treatments have failed.
This is also the case with patients in the Northern Territory. You must see a TGA-approved Australian doctor, while the state’s Department of Health also recommends that patients be referred to an appropriate specialist by a family doctor.
In recent years, recreational cannabis use has resulted in a massive increase in supporters around the world, and so does the people Down Under. A 2019 survey found that 36% of Australians have used cannabis over fourteen years of age, while 11.6% have used cannabis in the past 12 months. On September 25 of the same year, the Australian Capital Territory passed a law providing for the growth and possession of small quantities for personal use from January 31, 2020. Adult ACT residents are allowed to own up to 50 grams of flowers and 150 grams of wet material, and grow up to four plants per residence or two per person.
Incidentally, it is still illegal to smoke or use cannabis in public or to expose a minor to cannabis smoke. It is also prohibited to store cannabis within reach of children or to grow plants in public, while artificial cultivation is also prohibited. Sharing cannabis or driving with people in your system must also be avoided, and it goes without saying that it is illegal for all minors to possess, grow, or use cannabis.
Other states and territories
Growing a cannabis plant without artificial enhancement, owning up to 100 grams of cannabis or up to 20 grams of cannabis resin and / or smoking paraphernalia can be penalized by a police officer, otherwise you face a maximum of $ 500 – $ 1000 fine and the option a criminal conviction on your file. A maximum fine of up to $ 200,000 and a prison term of up to 25 years for selling, trading, and / or growing a commercial lot is imposed.
Anyone in possession of 10 grams or less of cannabis may receive a notification to attend a mandatory counseling session, while larger amounts may be fined up to $ 2,000 and / or given a 2-year prison sentence. Possession of more than 100 grams of cannabis carries a prison sentence of $ 20,000 or 2 years. Businesses selling cannabis smoking devices to minors face fines of up to $ 24,000 and adult sales up to $ 10,000.
Anyone carrying cannabis less than 50 grams can be offered a drug versioning program if they have no other offense on their record. The importation and trafficking of dangerous drugs are serious criminal offenses with the maximum life imprisonment penalty.
New South Wales
If a person is in possession of 15 grams of cannabis or less, they may be diverted to a drug diversion program at the discretion of the police, while possession of a larger amount carries a maximum penalty of up to 2 years in prison and / or a fine of up to $ 2,200. Growing commercial quantities of cannabis carries a maximum life imprisonment and / or fine of $ 550,000, while smaller quantities have a fine of 15 to 20 years and a maximum of $ 220,000 to $ 385,000.
Up to three warnings for a drug versioning program can be issued for possession of up to 50 grams of cannabis, while possession of associated devices is also considered a criminal offense, with a maximum penalty of $ 7,950 and / or a 2 year prison sentence. Human trafficking threatens a prison sentence of up to 21 years.
A diversion program is also sponsored by this state in the hopes of treating and educating criminals. Possession of up to 50 grams of cannabis is associated with termination and the possibility of participating in an educational program (Victoria Cannabis Cautioning Program) at most twice.
Any person in possession of 50 grams of cannabis, 10 grams of hashish or cannabis seeds, 1 gram of hashish oil, or two plants can be fined $ 200. If used in public, a sentence of up to 2 years is imposed. If a child is exposed to cannabis cultivation, they will face life imprisonment, while the maximum fee for trafficking is up to 25 years.