Across the world, countries and states are starting to decriminalise the use of cannabis when it is used for medical reasons such as pain relief. At the beginning of 2017, the Australian Federal Government made moves to legalise medical marijuana across the country. However, this decriminalisation doesn't mean that you can light up a joint whenever and wherever you want or that you can import or carry unlimited quantities of the drug. Below is a guide to 3 ways you may fall foul of new medical marijuana laws.
If it is illegal under local law
While the federal government are making moves to legalise weed for medical use, individual Australian state authorities may pass and enforce local anti-drug laws which make the possession and use of cannabis illegal. If you are apprehended in an area with strict anti-drug laws, you should immediately seek the advice of a criminal lawyer who will be able to defend you in court.
If you are carrying a large volume
Even if you have been issued with a permit which allows you to use medical cannabis in permitted states, this permit will specify a maximum quantity of the drug you can carry with you at any one time. This is designed to prevent medical cannabis from being prescribed, transported and sold illegally on the black market. You should carefully comply with any limits. If you are found to be carrying a larger volume than you are permitted to carry, you should make contact with a criminal lawyer.
If the cannabis is in a different form from that which is prescribed
Your permit for medical marijuana will generally only allow you to carry specially grown and treated forms of the drug. Medical marijuana strains are typically designed to remove the 'high' associated with traditional illegal strings of the drug. A permit to carry medical cannabis will only allow you to carry and use prescribed vials of the drug. If you are found to be in possession of other forms of marijuana such as hash or skunk, you will be breaking the law and could face criminal prosecution. If you are finding medical cannabis isn't as effective as illegal versions of the drug, it is important that you speak with your doctor about pain management rather than buying illegal versions of the drug.
If you would like to find out about drug laws in Australia, you should contact a criminal lawyer today.