Survey tells Feds to leave ACT cannabis laws alone

Lachlan Roberts 22 October 2019 22
Jeremy Hanson

Mr Hanson said he hopes that someone in the ACT Government can see sense and realise these laws are a “dog’s breakfast”. Photo: File.

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.”

Survey results

Responders didn’t want the Federal Government to overturn ACT legislation. Graph: Roy Morgan.

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.

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22 Responses to Survey tells Feds to leave ACT cannabis laws alone
Dirk Zeylmans Van Emmichoven Dirk Zeylmans Van Emmichoven 7:34 am 24 Oct 19

This doesnt cover the problems that criminilising cannabis presents to people who do get caught, in their job/career prospects, security clearances, family and other court process where it can harm the outcomes and will reduce a persons opportunities in life.Even travel.Its trivial and thats why the laws need to change.

Aldith Graves Aldith Graves 11:43 pm 23 Oct 19

If you give us self Government then you should live with the decisions that Government makes. Our citizenship is just as worthy as people in other states & jurisdictions

Jim Jim Jim Jim 11:01 pm 23 Oct 19

...And if you do a survey on sacking the ACT Legislative Assembly Viking style you’ll probably get a similar result. What hope is there next election?!

Natalie Grey Natalie Grey 9:55 pm 23 Oct 19

Well polls told us Hillary was going to be president, so...

Julie McIntyre Julie McIntyre 8:50 pm 23 Oct 19

Can someone tell ACT Government meant Federal law over rules local.

Corey Karl Corey Karl 7:18 pm 23 Oct 19

A whole 1024 people surveyed..... where were the rest, oh probably working 😂😂😂

Bethany Williams Bethany Williams 6:25 pm 23 Oct 19

Haha, The only thing that is a “dog’s breakfast”, Jeremy Hanson, are the ACT Liberals.

Have you ever actually considered why you have been in political exile for so long, when it’s obvious that we need a break from Labor?

It’s because you are too conservative and petty for the good people of the ACT. We are ‘enlightened’, ‘intelligent’, ‘progressive’ ‘educated’ and ‘broad-minded’. We want leadership that ‘represents’ who we are and what we want.

The ACT Liberals do not do that.

I’m still gobsmacked that there are enough Liberal voters in Canberra to elect Zed Seselja - he is a dog’s breakfast in and of himself.

Mark Chapman Mark Chapman 12:52 pm 23 Oct 19

Hanson and his fellow Tony Abbott clones hate the idea that any non-rich person might ever be having a good time.

Jorge Gatica Jorge Gatica 11:33 am 23 Oct 19

谢小若 谢小若 11:25 am 23 Oct 19

How were the participants selected? Could it be that pro-drug people were more likely to be selected for participation and their voice was amplified?

    Lin Van Oevelen Lin Van Oevelen 12:58 pm 23 Oct 19

    Highly unlikely with a professional poll.

    Lee Davis Lee Davis 1:39 pm 24 Oct 19

    Could it be that most people are sane and realize that it is stupid to make a plant illegal?

Brent Hunter Brent Hunter 11:04 am 23 Oct 19

Well when you poll mooseheads at 3am sure.

    Rob Thomas Rob Thomas 1:46 pm 23 Oct 19

    Brent Hunna 38% required a durrie. 20% wanted to know what the pollster was lookin' at.

    Alison Manders Alison Manders 9:20 pm 23 Oct 19

    Brent pretty sure dope is not what the 3am Moosies crowd are on. Way too much aggro for that. 🤨

Johnathan Davis MLA - Member for Brindabella Johnathan Davis MLA - Member for Brindabella 10:12 am 23 Oct 19

Let’s hope we see a swift backflip from the Canberra Liberals then.

Would be great to see our mob of Libs espousing the liberal views of ‘individual liberty’ and ‘freedom’ a bit more.

    James Daniels James Daniels 10:34 am 23 Oct 19

    Jonathan, did you miss the part where the Attorney General said there was no need to intervene as the ACT legislation is ineffective? It creates no positive right to possess/use so therefore there is no conflict with federal law and there is nothing stopping ACT police from charging people. Under the old regime, police could issue a fine or charge under federal law and given the hassle my understanding was they just issued fines. Now their options will be to charge under federal law or ignore a criminal offense when they have sworn to uphold Australia's laws. The ACT government has put police in a difficult position and at some stage someone will be charged when they would have previously just received a fine. Do you want to volunteer for the test case?

    Brent Hunter Brent Hunter 11:05 am 23 Oct 19

    Johnathan Davis for Tuggeranong just wants to smoke billies in the assembly. Is it too much for him to ask?

    Colin Vivian Colin Vivian 2:55 pm 23 Oct 19

    Johnathan Davis for Tuggeranong wouldn’t hold your breath, Zed had the casting vote on the right of the ACT to make their own laws and voted against it.

    Alison Manders Alison Manders 9:19 pm 23 Oct 19

    James Daniels except that the ACT AG and the ACT Branch of the AFP were involved in the drafting of the legislation. They saw no issues until Christian Porter did a 180 on his original stance of not interfering. 🙄

    James Daniels James Daniels 10:14 pm 23 Oct 19

    Alison Manders you have that wrong. The AFP were opposed to changing the law and told the government basically what I said above. That ACT Law Society also backed the assessment that the change could lead to harsher penalties being imposed than the current fines.

bernie bernie 10:02 am 23 Oct 19

If Jeremy had any credibility, he’d be focussing on the damaging effects of Australia’s most destructive drug, alcohol. But I doubt you will ever hear anyone on the Liberal side speak up about that. Just another sign of the Canberra Liberals going out of their to consign themselves to irrelevance yet again.

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