Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Tasmania Moves Towards Cannabis Decriminalisation

In an Australian first, Tasmanian cannabis smokers will, from next year, be given up to three chances to reform their ways before they face criminal charges. John Howard reports.

It will also mean people caught with small amounts of ecstasy, heroin or cocaine for the first time will be let off without conviction if they choose to seek help instead.

The move is being described as a bold new approach and is an Australian first. The plan is that it will move illicit drug users away from the court system and into assessment, treatment and education programs.

Unveiled by the Federal Health Minister Michael Wooldridge and Tasmanian Premier Jim Bacon, it won immediate praise from Tasmanian police and drug rehabilitation workers.

"Clearly, the solutions of old haven't worked," Deputy Police Commissioner Jack Johnston said.

Under the new plan:

People caught with cannabis for personal use will be given a choice of being charged or undergoing compulsory assessment, and then education and/or treatment.

This will apply to their second and third offences. The cautioning system for first offenders will continue and charges will apply for the fourth misdemeanor.

People caught with small amounts of hard drugs, like heroin, for the first time, will be given the option of receiving help instead of being charged. If they choose the latter option, they could face up to two year's jail.

Addicts who commit crimes like burglaries to support their habits, and are also found with drugs, will not be charged with the drug offence if they accept assessment and treatment programs. They will still face court over the non-drug related crime.

The options will extend to adults and juveniles alike, but at the discretion of the police.

Schools and courts will also encourage illicit drug users to enter the self-help programs. Repeat and violent offenders, and those suspected of dealing in drugs, will still be charged.

Police Deputy Comissioner Johnston chaired the intergovernmental committee that developed the strategy, and said he was confident it would work. He said it should free up police to catch more drug dealers.

The Premier, Jim Bacon, said " This is not a bandaid solution....it is aimed squarely at reducing illicit drug use."

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

There Is A Field: Reimagining Biodiversity In Aotearoa

We are in a moment of existential peril, with interconnected climate and biodiversity crises converging on a global scale to drive most life on Earth to the brink of extinction… These massive challenges can, however, be reframed as a once in a lifetime opportunity to fundamentally change how humanity relates to nature and to each other. Read on The Dig>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Barriers Facing Female Politicians

On the current evidence though, voters are less likely to regard a female politician as ‘likeable’ than a male one, and – even worse – this perception tends to become a barrier that only female candidates in the main, have to face. More>>

The Detail: Britain's Trump Is Now Its Prime Minister

Guardian journalist James Murray says Boris Johnson wears the hat that works, depending on what he’s trying to achieve. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Trump’s Open White Nationalism

By telling those four elected, American born and/or raised women of colour to “go home”, US President Donald Trump’s racist agenda has come out of the shadows. More>>

ALSO:

Mediaversaries: 20 Years Of The Scoop Information Ecosystem

Scoop celebrates its 20th anniversary this month. To celebrate, we are offering 20% off all ScoopPro subscriptions, including the newly launched ScoopPro Citizen service for Citizen readers. More>>

ALSO: