Is Marijuana Legal in Queensland?
In Queensland, it is now legal to possess marijuana under certain circumstances. The law (Drug Misuse Act 1986) prohibits possession of even small amounts of illicit drugs without a prescription. That means cannabis can be used legally as long as it has been obtained for medicinal purposes and with the permission from a doctor.
But people are warned against growing their own, because this may constitute production offences which carry much heavier penalties than possession offences. Queensland police also remind people that smoking pot in public places such as parks will attract fines, regardless of whether or not you hold a prescription.
For now, possessing or using cannabis remains illegal if there is no medical reason for doing so. Medical research into whether marijuana eases symptoms associated with painful illnesses, including cancer, has been going on for many years and is still continuing as we learn more and more about this miraculous plant.
Penalties if Caught with Marijuana in Queensland
The penalties for being caught in possession of weed, without a prescription, can range from a small fines to lengthy periods of imprisonment.
The severity of the fine will be determined by a number of factors, including but not limited to, the amount of cannabis and the whether the purpose of the possession was commercial in nature.
It’s also important to note that if you are caught using marijuana anywhere other than your private property (such as your home), then the penalties will be much higher and may even lead to lengthy prison sentences. That’s because smoking weed (even if you’re prescribed it) in public is considered just as bad as possessing it.
Marijuana Laws are Changing In Australia
Since cannabis is the most common illegal drug intercepted by Australian customs, it’s obvious that Australia hasn’t been exempt from the marijuana craze. The benefits of cannabis have been known for many years now but due to pressures from the United Nations and our own Government, research into marijuana was almost banned throughout most of the 20th century. However, all this is slowly changing and we’re starting to see some signs of progress when it comes to laws surrounding marijuana in Australia.
In several other countries cannabis use has already been decriminalised, with neighbouring Thailand recently making cannabis legal. We expect this is the beginning of many other countries beginning the legalisation process too. In fact, New South Wales has already taken steps towards decriminalizing weed. Most MMJ patients (people with prescriptions) are allowed to grow a certain amount at home without being subject to legal action…provided they live in NSW (Queensland has not yet implemented such laws).
If you are Charged with Possession of an Illicit Substance
It’s possible for you to be charged under the laws of possession of illicit substances even if you have a legitimate prescription. If your medicinal cannabis is discovered during an inspection, police are likely to contact and speak with your doctor first. This may also result in confiscation leading to prosecution.
So far, there have been no cases where patients who had received medical marijuana prescriptions were found guilty, but this doesn’t mean penalties will not be enforced in the future. If you are caught and don’t have a prescription, you will most likely be charged for possession of cannabis.
If this has happened to you, you should speak with a legal expert with experience defending people against drug charges immediately. They can help you with the charges and may be able to achieve a good behaviour bond, where you are not required to pay any fine.
Always remember that, even if you have received a prescription for weed, you should not use it anywhere other than in your private property. If you’re caught using or possessing cannabis outside of these conditions, then the fines and penalties could be much more severe.
This article is of a general nature and is intended for information only. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require further information, advice or assistance for your specific circumstance, please contact us at Bouchier Khan Lawyers.