While the Canberra Liberals are calling on the ACT Government to abandon a new law decriminalising cannabis, an online survey has found that more than 60 per cent of responders do not want the Federal Government to interfere.
Melbourne-based research company Roy Morgan surveyed 1,054 Australians earlier this month to see how the public viewed the Federal Government potentially overturning the new ACT law decriminalising cannabis for personal use. The law is set to come into effect next year.
Asking Do you believe the Federal Government should step in and overturn the ACT’s new law that legalises the possession, use and cultivation of small amounts of cannabis?, the survey found that 62 per cent did not want the Commonwealth to interfere, while 27 per cent said they should.
Roy Morgan CEO Michele Levine said it was clear that all age groups are against the Federal Government stepping in and overturning the law, led by 66 per cent of 35-49-year-olds and 63 per cent of 14-24-year-olds.
The smallest majority was in the 65 and over age-group, even though 58 per cent of over-65s said they believed the law should not be overturned.
“Despite research from Roy Morgan revealing 49 per cent of Australians actually oppose the legalisation of marijuana, a clear majority don’t want the Federal Government to overturn the ACT’s new cannabis laws,” Ms Levine said.
“As well as reflecting changing community attitudes to the drug, this result shows Australians are hesitant about Federal Government intervention in the affairs of other jurisdictions such as the ACT.”
Despite the community support, Canberra Liberals’ Jeremy Hanson has formally called on the ACT Government not to commence the cannabis laws following advice from the Federal Attorney-General that the laws are invalid and actually recriminalise cannabis.
Mr Hanson said he hopes that someone in the ACT Government can see sense and realise these laws are a “dog’s breakfast”.
“The advice from the Federal Government is crystal clear – cannabis possession is still a crime under Commonwealth law in the ACT, just as it is in every other state and territory,” Mr Hanson said.
“What makes it all worse is that, in the rush to grandstand on the issue, Labor and the Greens have removed a sensible, decriminalised system, and replaced it with an incompetent, incomplete law which opens Canberrans to much harsher penalties than if they had just left the system alone.
“Not only that, because Labor and the Greens have revelled in ‘legalising’ cannabis, they have sent all the wrong messages to the community. It will inevitably lead to someone thinking what they’re doing is legal, but who now faces a potential jail term,” Mr Hanson said.