In a bizarrely dated statement, the South Australian Government have announced a ‘War on Drugs’, which will include dramatically increasing the penalties for cannabis possession.
The new regulations will see the maximum fine for cannabis possession rise from around $500 to $2000. A new maximum prison sentence of two years is also set to be introduced, meaning that cannabis possession could hold the same jail time as possession of drugs such as heroin and ecstasy.
Other measures will include allowing sniffer dogs to be bought into schools to search for cannabis and other illicit drugs.
South Australia’s Liberal party had promised to clamp down on cannabis as part of their election manifesto and are looking to follow through with their promise to “bring cannabis in line with other drugs”.
This newly proclaimed ‘War on Drugs’ stems from the disillusionment by many in seats of power as to the efficacy of the states’ Drug Diversion Program. The Government believe that too many people are taking advantage of the program, simply as a way to avoid jail time and/or criminal records.
Attorney General Vickie Chapman stated;
“If we give people a chance to have treatment a couple of times, that’s fine, but really this a limit on how lenient we can be in giving people a chance to have treatment instead of a penalty…We endorse that that’s an opportunity that should be given, but third time around you don’t get that opportunity.”
There is currently no set date as to when these new regulations will come into effect.