The government of Queensland is set to propose an amendment to the state’s anti-drug laws that will make no distinction between cannabis and harder drugs like heroin as far as penalties for possession and trafficking are concerned, says Katherine Gillespie in a report for Vice.
One-schedule drug regime
The proposed amendment, championed by Queensland Attorney-General Yvette D’ath, is expected to be introduced by the middle of the year. Once passed, all illegal drugs from marijuana to ice will be simply lumped under the same category, and possession and trafficking will carry uniform penalties. That means anyone caught buying, selling or trafficking will be punished the same regardless of the illegal drug involved. Sentences will only vary according to the quantities involved.
The proposed amendment is part of the reforms recommended by the independent Queensland Commission of Inquiry into Organised Crime. Once passed, the current drug scheduling system, which recognises that different substances pose different risks, will be essentially junked. A one-schedule drug regime, according to the Queensland government, “will remove any risk of inconsistency in the scheduling of substances and provide for a more readily transparent penalty regime, which may enhance its deterrent value.”
Read the full article here.
Changes puzzling as Queensland supports medical cannabis
The proposed changes to existing anti-drug laws can be a bit puzzling. That’s because Queensland’s state government just recently expressed support for legal access to medicinal cannabis. Queensland has announced it would join Victoria and New South Wales in taking part in a clinical trial for the use of medical cannabis. If the Queensland government is going to eventually push through with these changes to anti-drug laws, it will really have to make regulations about medical marijuana crystal clear. Anything less, and Queenslanders are going to be in for some confusing times.
Nevertheless, anything that would tighten regulations on any illicit drug is always a welcome idea, particularly when it concerns the workplace. Cannabis use and the workplace, after all, simply do not mix. An employee who regularly uses cannabis–medical or otherwise–will always be experiencing varying degrees of impairment, and an impaired worker poses a great danger to the health and safety of everyone in the workplace.