Cannabis Decriminalisation

Stigma Amazing how much something like that sticks right? I mean for the businessmen and women out there who have the means and opportunity to make a difference.
Those who could speak up and others would listen. Those who could speak out to garner attention, but stay silent… why? Stigma.

You see for those who have forged careers that have spanded their adult lifetimes the mear muttering of the word cannabis, marijuana, or weed sparks almost “PTSD” styled flashbacks to Cheech & Chong, 'Woodstock', or their own bad experiences with illegal substances.

While for new age entrepreneurs mention of the same three words sparks images of welfare recipients heading to the ATM on ‘dole’ day to withdraw their money – tax payers dollars – before getting on the phone calling their dealer to be ‘hooked up’ while their bills go unpaid and children go hungry.

This is all due to Stigma. The Stigma surrounding the use of cannabis, otherwise known as marijuana or weed.

UpdateAustralia is advocating towards the decriminalisation of cannabis here in Australia. Under the currently complexed Australian Drug Laws cannabis (marijuana) is listed as an illegal drug and is classified as banned because using them can endanger your health, your life, or the life of others. Because they are not regulated in the way legal drugs are you can never be sure what’s in them or how strong they are.

In the State of Queensland you can be charged with possession of a bong, or other drug paraphernalia, without actually being charged with possession of marijuana. Whereas, from the 31st January 2020, under ACT law if you’re aged over 18 and in the ACT you can possess up to 50 grams of dried cannabis or up to 150 grams of fresh cannabis, grow up to two cannabis plants at your home per person.

In the ACT as of the 31st of January 2020 it became an offence to:

  • Smoke or use cannabis in a public place;
  • Expose a child or young person to cannabis smoke;
  • Store cannabis where children can reach it;
  • Grow cannabis using hydroponics or artificial cultivation;
  • Grow cannabis plants where they can be accessed by the public;

  • Whereas some laws remained the same:

  • To sell, share or give cannabis as a gift to another person;
  • For people aged under 18 to grow, have, or use cannabis;
  • To drive with any amount of cannabis in your system.

  • It is our position that the laws put in place in the Australian Capital Territory on the 31st January 2020 should become, at the very least, the first step towards the decriminalisation of cannabis across the entire Commonwealth of Australia, and will be one of the main advocacy points of UpdateAustralia.

    In October 2018, Canada legalised the use of marijuana under their Cannabis Act. Meaning people living in Canada who are 18 years or older are legally allowed to possess up to 30 grams of cannabis in its dried or non-dried form in public and are permitted to share up to 30 grams of substance with other adults.

    The Canadian Cannabis Act goes on to state that the people in Canada must buy their cannabis from provisionally-licensed retailers and federally-licensed producers.
    Australian Law makers, who we voted into their positions to represent us – the people of Australia – should, for the purpose of public health and safety, should adopt similar laws from Canada where it is outlined their laws were introduced to:

  • Protect the health of young persons by restricting their access to cannabis;
  • Protect young persons and others from inducements to use cannabis;
  • Provide for the licit production of cannabis to reduce illicit activities in relation to cannabis;
  • Deter illicit activities in relation to cannabis through appropriate sanctions and enforcement measures;
  • Reduce the burden on the criminal justice system in relation to cannabis;
  • Provide access to a quality-controlled supply of cannabis; and
  • Enhance public awareness of the health risks associated with cannabis use.

  • Did You Know?

    Globally the first country to legalise the recreational use of cannabis was Uruguay in 2013, in that country pharmacies are the only place in the country where people can buy recreational marijuana from. There are only 17 pharmacies in the country that are allowed to sell it, and buyers need to register with a regulator and can buy 10 grams per week.

    To get the conversation started here are four reasons laws need to be changed in order to UpdateAustralia.


    While yes the government has the right to tell us what is and isn’t legal, really they should have no right restricting the relatively harmless pleasures of consenting adults. Some claim that marijuana is harmful – but that is by no means clear – it is the right of every individual to decide whether to take it.

    Smoking weed is a “victimless crime” where only the user is taking any risk. It is immoral to tell people how they can, or cannot enjoy themselves.


    Weed is less harmful than legal drugs like alcohol or tobacco, so keeping it banned is pure hypocrisy. In fact, cannabis has proven health benefits, from treating glaucoma to preventing epilepsy or easing the symptoms of multiple scierosis.

    There are no health grounds to keep it illegal, it’s purely a cultural hangover from the days when pot was considered a dangerous, exotic import.


    The legalisation of cannabis would take the trade out of the hands of criminal gangs, that would reduce their nefarious influence in both cannabis importing countries and the places where it’s produced.

    Legalised, pot could be properly regulated to ensure quality and safety - just like any other product. And now without spending hours chasing down hapless dope-smokers, our law enforcement agencies could focus on dealing with hard drug pushers who do real harm.

    4. The TAXMAN on a HIGH!

    The gains to both State and Federal governments budgets would grow substantially, into the billions each year, coming from tax revenues on pot sales, the savings from the justice system – including the cost of keeping smokers in jail.

    Since prohibition is never going to stop people smoking cannabis, the Australian Federal and State governments may as well make some money out it.

    Want to share your thoughts on the Decriminalisation of Cannabis? Come and chat here!