Canberra, the capital city of Australia just voted to legalize cannabis within the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). The ACT will be the second region within the Southern Hemisphere to legally permit adults to use cannabis recreationally.
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What is the ACT?
The ACT stands for Australian Capital Territory, and is home to Canberra, Australia’s capital city. The ACT is Australia’s smallest region by land area, and second smallest by population, with approximately 425,000 residents. It’s roughly 910 square miles (2358 km2), compared to the District of Columbia which is 68.3 square miles (177km2). Unlike the District of Columbia which is entirely city, the majority of the ACT is national park.
Marijuana Laws In New Zealand
What laws are changing?
Adults 18 years and older will be allowed to be in possession of 50 grams of dried cannabis, when the laws come into effect on January 31st, 2020. Two plants per adult will be allowed to be grown at home, with a maximum of four plants per household.
Where it gets tricky however is when you also consider federal law. Using cannabis recreationally is still illegal under federal law, as it remains a controlled substance. This arrangement is similar to the United States.
Where it gets even trickier is how to legally acquire cannabis. There are no plans as yet to have licensed retailers, and giving and buying cannabis and its seeds will still remain illegal. As the date gets closer there will likely be more guidelines introduced around this.
What does this mean for the rest of Australia?
This is no doubt awesome news for Australians and the cannabis community worldwide. Unfortunately these new laws will only be applicable to less than 2% of the Australian population. This isn’t just some small territory within Australia though, this is the Australian Capital Territory. Canberra represents the political home of Australia, and having cannabis now share that home will get the conversations going in other States and Territories.
It wasn’t long ago that we wrote about cannabis in Australia as a whole, wondering if it would soon follow in Canada’s footsteps. Will Canberra cannabis have a flow-on effect for the other States and Territories? We really hope so, but only time will tell.