On Tuesday, Canberra - or the Australian Capital Territory, which functions as a state – legalized the recreational use of marijuana for inhabitants 18 years and older. The new law is supposed to come into effect at the end of January. Adult Canberrans will be able to possess 50 grams of cannabis and will be allowed to grow two marijuana plants for personal consumption.
Much like in the U.S. the possession of cannabis and cannabis plants will remain a federal offense, but that is not expected to make a difference “in practice”, according to ACT attorney-general Gordon Ramsay. ACT shadow attorney-general Jeremy Hanson from the Liberals said the bill would lead to “perverse outcomes”.
Looking at an international survey by Ipsos comparing attitudes towards marijuana legalization in different countries, Australia ranks quite high. In the U.S. and Canada, where marijuana was legal at least in part of the countries when the survey was carried out in late 2018, 80 percent of the population were in favor of some type of legalization (medical or recreational). In Australia, this number was at approximately 70 percent even though a larger proportion of respondents favored medical marijuana legislation over legalization for recreational use.