It’s officially legal to possess cannabis for personal use in the ACT.
The ACT is the first Australian state or territory to legalize the possession of cannabis, with people over the age of 18 allowed to carry up to 50 grams as of today.
The law, which came into effect on January 31, also allows Canberrans to cultivate two cannabis plants.
Cannabis is still illegal under Commonwealth law.
In 2018 the ACT Legislative Assembly passed the bill which legalizes growing and possessing a small amount of cannabis.
At the time, the bill’s explanatory statement said the bill would “reduce the burden on our criminal justice system and bring us a step closer to a cannabis market.”
Despite the fact you can carry cannabis under ACT law, you’re still prohibited from buying and selling cannabis under Commonwealth law. So police in the ACT can arrest and charge anyone with cannabis under those laws.
“If there’s evidence that someone is providing cannabis to someone else, that’s supply, and that’s an offense,” ACT chief police officer Ray Johnson told ABC radio in September.
What will remain illegal?
It is illegal to possess more than 50 grams of dried cannabis and more than 150g of cannabis that has been harvested. In addition, you can’t cultivate more than four plants, sell cannabis, or supply it to under 18-year-olds.
You are also prohibited from artificially cultivating cannabis – meaning you can’t use artificial light or heat to grow it – or from smoking cannabis in a public place.
And you can only plant cannabis where you live, not “in an area lawfully accessible to a member of the public.” If you breach those laws, you could face two years of imprisonment.