Cannabis legalisation to be delayed be new parliamentary rules


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Chief Minister Andrew Barr mentioned it was seemingly debate on Mr Pettersson’s invoice wouldn’t be concluded for a number of months, “presumably not even by mid 12 months at this level”.

“The brand new standing orders of the Meeting require all amendments to undergo a scrutiny course of so if there’s any competition round a bit of laws within the Meeting it’ll take three sitting durations successfully for it to be resolved, so we intend to have a measured and detailed debate each on the precept of the laws and any subsequent amendments,” Mr Barr mentioned.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr says new standing orders will slow down the passage of a private members bill to legalise cannabis.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr says new standing orders will decelerate the passage of a personal members invoice to legalise hashish. Credit score:Katie Burgess

“This is not going to be progressing by way of the Meeting on this sitting fortnight and it could in truth be the center of the 12 months earlier than debate concludes on the entire amendments that might be introduced ahead however I welcome engagement on the difficulty, I believe it’s lengthy overdue this debate and I’m hopeful the Meeting will have the ability to conduct itself in a mature and exemplary method in contemplating each the in precept a part of the controversy and likewise amendments.”

The standing orders had been modified upon suggestion from ACT Parliamentary Counsel Mary Toohey, who mentioned scrutiny needs to be prolonged to all legislative amendments, no matter their origin, “as a matter of precept”.

Whereas standing orders could be suspended by a majority of the Meeting, Mr Barr mentioned this was an “abuse” of the method and having that additional scrutiny meant higher laws.

The Liberals may also attempt to refer Mr Pettersson’s invoice to the Meeting’s standing committee on well being, which might delay the invoice additional however is unlikely to occur as each Labor and the Greens help the laws in-principle.


It is nonetheless unclear what modifications the Labor government are searching for on the laws, however Mr Barr mentioned his ministers would carry ahead amendments “throughout a number of portfolios”.

It comes after the Greens signalled they’d transfer to extend the quantity of hashish individuals can possess for medicinal use, in addition to permitting individuals to develop hydroponic hashish of their properties.

The invoice as drafted permits individuals to domesticate as much as 4 hashish vegetation every however they can not use any synthetic lights.

The minor get together additionally needs to create an advisory council to offer the federal government skilled recommendation on the difficulty and introduce new targets for medication of dependence legal guidelines to enshrine a hurt minimisation method.

And whereas the Liberals oppose the invoice outright, Mr Barr mentioned their authorized affairs spokesman Jeremy Hanson had raised some points in an opinion piece for The Canberra Occasions that warranted additional examination by way of the small print stage of the invoice.


Different points Mr Hanson raised although pointed to “philosophical variations in relation to hurt minimisation versus a ‘simply say no’ method”, Mr Barr mentioned.

“I believe we’re going to get a reform path right here, we’re going to pursue that, however the positive element of the laws will take many months to work by way of,” Mr Barr mentioned.

Mr Pettersson additionally mentioned he was conscious of amendments to his laws however was but to see element.

“I encourage all MLAs to interact with this laws, which is so necessary so many members of the neighborhood,” Mr Pettersson mentioned.

Requested whether or not his invoice needs to be examined by way of a committee, Mr Pettersson mentioned he was unable to take the suggestion critically given the Liberals refusal to think about supporting the laws.

Katie Burgess is a reporter for the Canberra Occasions, masking ACT politics.

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