Australia: Western Australia Premier Vows to Roll Back Marijuana Reforms, Reenergize Drug War

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Demagogue Rising: Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett
Leading a Liberal-National Party coalition government, Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett is introducing legislation this week to roll back reforms to the state's marijuana laws. Passed by an earlier Labor government in 2003, the changes decriminalized the possession of up to 30 grams of pot and allowed for the growing of up to two plants without fear of arrest and prosecution.

In a media statement Sunday and another one Monday, the "tough on crime" premier gave clear notice he was cracking down on pot and other drug offenders, and was willing to extend police powers to do so. He said he would introduce legislation to repeal the state's Cannabis Control Act of 2003 and to amend the 1981 Misuse of Drugs and Youthful Offender Act.

"The Liberal-National Government is committed to tackling both the demand and supply sides of the illicit drug problem through strong law enforcement policies, education and rehabilitation," Barnett said. "Cannabis is not a harmless or soft drug. Research continues to show that cannabis can lead to a host of health and mental health problems including schizophrenia, and can be a gateway to harder drugs," he maintained, treating highly controversial and discredited claims as if they were fact.

According to Premier Barnett, his legislation will:

  • Prosecute those in possession of more than 10g of cannabis.
  • See subsequent offenses for possession being prosecuted as criminal offences.
  • Prosecute people for cultivating even one or two cannabis plants.
  • Extend the ban on the sale of pot-smoking implements to minors to include everyone.
  • Increase the fine for selling smoking implements to $5,000 for sale to adults and $10,000 for sale to minors. Corporate entities could be fined up to five times those amounts.

Barnett also wants to "reform" the Cannabis Infringement Notice Scheme (CIN), or ticketing and fines for decriminalized amounts, by replacing it with a Cannabis Intervention Requirement Scheme (CIRS) that would require anyone ticketed to attend "drug education" classes. It would also mandate that anyone who failed to pay his fine would be prosecuted, something that has not been the case under the current law.

Barnett's scheme would also allow for the criminal prosecution for marijuana possession of juveniles after two decrim tickets and adults after one. The current law has no such measures.

There's more to come, Barnett promised. "The next steps will be to amend legislation to enable courts to impose a harsher sentence on dealers who sell or supply illicit drugs to children, irrespective of the location of the sale or supply," he said. "Further amendments to the Misuse of Drugs Act 1981 will provide offenses for exposing children to harm or to the danger of serious harm from the manufacture of illegal drugs, such as amphetamines, or the unlawful cultivation of illegal hydroponically-grown plants. The government will also move to ban the sale of drug paraphernalia, including cocaine kits."

But, he said Monday, he's going to start by soon introducing legislation to allow police to stop and search anyone without probable cause. The police commissioner would designate certain "stop and search" zones with advance public notice, especially in entertainment areas.

"Police will have the right to go up to anyone they wish to and introduce a stop and search power," Barnett said. "It will not be an invasive search; it will be comparable to the sort of search and screening that takes place for any citizen getting on an aeroplane."

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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God Save the Queen!

Just what we need: a

Just what we need: a crackdown on marijuana by what is probably one of the most alcoholic countries in the world.

Big 2Wackgo at it again

1. A googlesearch reveals a 1990's figure of about 20,000 tobackgo deaths per year in a total Australia population of just over 20 million. (Compare USA 440,000 in 300,000,000.) Everyone knows these figures almost entirely represent the effect of hot burning overdose $igarettes.

2. The "tradition" of banning sale of "cannabis utensils" (Queensland, 2004) is a $igarette-tax-recipient government's return gift to the $igarette companies. A "cannabis utensil" is whatever any stop-and-inspect cop thinks is a "cannabis utensil", in practice, any downdosage device that could substitute for the typical paperpacked commercial 700-mg. overdoses which are the basis of the tobackgo industry profit margin. My 25-mg. serving-size one-hitter would doubtless fit the description. Under proposed legislation I could get in Big Trouble for trying to share my one-hitter, or another like it, with a hot-burning-overdose-addicted Australian, even for tobackgo use.

This guy is so unrealistic,

This guy is so unrealistic, talk about invading peoples privacy. And all this waste of funds for something less harmful than half the items sold at liquor stores? This is insane, how can you base law on unproven theories that have been proven wrong by scientific studies again and again? I am so glad I live in California, one of the last places left on earth were your actually allowed to live your life! Can you imagine if they started busting down our doors and jailing us for eating a unhealthy hamburger? I guess they figure they can convince enough people by using fear tactics that marijuana is some kind of evil thing even though its safer than alcohol. Pure insanity that this one guy has the power to unjustifiably ruin so many peoples lives, and he actually thinks hes doing a good thing, WOW!

Another Mr nobody has a

Another Mr nobody has a conservative background. I hope he goes to bed at night thinking about his nice policies, because I won't be.

Reefer Madness

Sounds like he just recently watched the old movie "Reefer Madness". They used exactly the same reasoning to create the initial prohibition laws.

Western Australia: Still Primitive After All These Years

The isolation of the Australian continent has resulted in a culture that sometimes lags the rest of western civilization.

Premier Colin Barnett’s hatred of pot smoking hippies and any symbology related thereto is reflected in similar acts of discrimination and racism that Australia has exhibited in the not-too-distant past.  Although progress has been made, racism still flares up occasionally.

As marijuana conquers the U.S. government, so shall it conquer the Australian blue meanies, authoritarian rollbacks notwithstanding.

Giordano

Barnett

I live in Perth, Western Australia, And im sick and tired of politicians like Barnett who are still clinging to the Drug War and all the non-sense that comes with it.
Here is an extract from an article by Johann Hari from the NORML website which im quite fond of:
"The proponents of the "war on drugs" are well-intentioned people who believe they are saving people from the nightmare of drug addiction and making the world safer. But this self-image has turned into a faith - and like all faiths, it can only be maintained by cultivating a deliberate blindness to the evidence."

Barnett and hi followers really need to wisen up and start seeing the many negative implications of the drug war on our society.
Though i believe this was meant to be voted on last week, i havent heard anything about the results yet, im hoping the recent news from the UK has done something to change their minds...

thc curing cancer.

After seeing his ridiculous media release only days ago. I called the premier's office and expressed my hot blooded rage at his absolute ignorance and outright responsibility he would have for all future cancer and other related deaths. What a moron to admit by his own figures that he intends to criminalize over 10 percent of the population who currently use cannabis in their own homes without impunity.

Absolute tosser. Well you know what I learned.. its all being held under the Jurisdiction of the Mental Health Minister - Mr Jacobs. also minister for water... and his Liaison officer Darren, took some details of a few pertinent websites. e.g Curing Cancer : http://www.phoenixtears.ca , and the Best evidence based reference list of medicinal cannabis applications I've seen
http://www.greenpassion.org/f11/granny-storm-crows-list-july-2009-a-13858/
I'm calling him back in 10 days. But the most incredible thing is,, I was only the second person since its release to call. and there has been no correspondence recieved regarding its detrimental effect as a policy by anyone else from the public.

APPARENTLY. all letters and emails, must be entered into the public record, and thats all they are waiting for people to write in letters. THESE count as VOTES against the bill. So.. Join me and contact the ministers office and post an email comment.- here : http://www.mediastatements.wa.gov.au/Pages/Comments.aspx?ItemId=132599

homosexuals

Colin Barnett takes it in the mouth

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