NSW moving to lighten punishment for having recreational quantities of illegal drugs

Local culture 03/12/2020

Just over the ditch, the New South Wales government have revealed their plan that could drastically affect the way drug possession is policed.

According to the ABC, the State Cabinet is trying to rethink its approach to penalising those caught with illegal drugs.

Instead of huge fines or jail time, the NSW Police are looking at a 'three strikes' for those snapped with small quantities, or 'personal use' amounts.

A person would be given a warning first; a fine if it happens again; another fine the third time before it would become a criminal offence on the fourth strike.

This is all in the planning stages at the moment, however it's already being called a massive step forward in the state's approach.

Greens MP David Shoebridge said on Twitter the rumoured plan is effectively decriminalising drugs for personal use.

"If this stacks up, this is a major victory for common sense, a victory for young people who can go about their business without being monstered by police. It's also a win for police who can put their resources where they are most needed," he said.

"This comes after YEARS of campaigning against the invasive strip search and drug dog programs from so many people.

"A warning/fine/fine as the three strikes before it's a criminal offence. These are modest changes, far from full decriminalisation, but if they do become law they will reduce unnecessary and aggressive policing of minor drug offences."

The next step is to determine what actually constitutes 'small' or 'personal' use for the drugs they want to fit under the plan, with a final decision on the policy expected to be announced in a few weeks.