Stakeholders now have until 30 November to make written submissions on the Cannabis for Private Purposes Bill in anticipation of public hearings on a date yet to be announced, reports Legalbrief‘s Pam Saxby. This was confirmed in a National Assembly Justice & Correctional Services Committee media statement.
Responding to a Constitutional Court judgment handed down in 2018 declaring certain sections of the 1992 Drugs & Drug Trafficking Act and 1965 Medicines & Related Substances Control Act unconstitutional and invalid, once in force the Bill will allow adults to participate in certain regulated activities related to the cultivation and consumption of cannabis in the privacy of their homes. Noting that ‘the link between hemp, as a variety of cannabis, and cannabis (itself) has resulted in several restrictions on the (widescale commercial) production of hemp’, a memorandum on the Bill’s objects confirms that it also seeks to rectify this.
With the aim of protecting both children and adults from the ‘harms of cannabis’, the proposed new piece of legislation seeks to prohibit the guardians of children from allowing them to participate in certain cannabis-related activities – and other adults from coercing children to do so. In addition, it proposes that the arrest or detention of a child offender should be prohibited unless under ‘exceptional circumstances’ – adding offences to be created by the Bill to Schedule 1 of the 2008 Child Justice Act, which lists those for which a child may be ‘subject to a level one diversion’.
Other proposals include expunging the criminal records of persons convicted in the past of cannabis possession.
Full Legalbrief Policy Watch report