Australian Capital Territory Decriminalizes Drug Possession

The Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory passed legislation today to decriminalize the possession of eight different drugs including MDMA, cocaine, psilocybin and LSD.

The Australian Capital Territory.

The Legislative Assembly for the Australian Capital Territory passed the legislation by a vote of 13 to 6. The measure was introduced by Labor Party MP Michael Pettersson. The Australian Capital Territory houses Canberra, Australia’s capital.

The new law will take effect in October of next year, and will decriminalize the possession of cocaine (1.5 grams), heroin (2 grams), MDMA (3 grams), methamphetamine (1.5 grams), amphetamine (2 grams), psilocybin (2 grams), lysergic acid (2 milligrams) and LSD (2 milligrams). Under the law those caught with these drugs would receive a $100 AUD fine rather than jail time. The fine could be waived if the person voluntarily completes a drug diversion program.
The Australian Capital Territory already legalized the possession of marijuana in 2020.

“It is a sensible, evidence-based approach to drug policy”, said MP Peterson. “The bill is about harm reduction, reducing ordinary people’s interactions with the criminal justice system.”

Peterson says calls the war on drugs a “failed policy”.

“Across the world, it has destroyed countless lives and decimated whole communities”, he says. “It’s based on flawed science and misinformation. It has not stopped drug use. It has not reduced drug use.”