Despite increasing acceptance, cannabis use is still illegal in Australia
Cannabis is a drug which is becoming more accepted in Australia, both for its medical aspects and when used for recreational purposes, around the world Unfortunately, for now, despite progress elsewhere, in almost all circumstances, if you buy cannabis in Australia, you will be breaking the law.Specifically, that means that if you buy cannabis for ‘Adult’ or ‘Recreational’ use then you will likely be breaking the law.
FACTIt’s legal for any patient with an appropriate prescription (for a cannabis related product,) to buy cannabis in Australia.
Medical marijuana was legalized in this way, following changes in Federal legislation in 2016.
Sales of cannabis, even when undertaken for medical reasons, are heavily regulated for a number of reasons which we have covered elsewhere.
A substantial proportion of police resources go towards capturing people who break these laws. In total, across Australia, the government spends around $1.1bn on enforcing drug policy as a whole. Of that, roughly two thirds of expenditure is used on matters related to the enforcement of cannabis laws and, of that, about 80% of expenditure is related to pursuing people on possession charges.
Cannabis is currently legal when used for medical purposes in Australia. A bill will be introduced to legalise in Canberra for recreational purposes in February 2019
The information on this page does not constitute legal advice from Cannabis Express. Please appraise yourself of the relevant laws in your area, according to your specific circumstances, if you would like to buy cannabis.
What happens if you are caught with non medicinal cannabis (‘adult’ or ‘recreational’) cannabis in Australia?
Buying cannabis can open the door to number ofcriminal problems for you. In Australia, The police have the power to search you, so long as they believe there is a reasonable chance you might be holding any type of drug, including cannabis. They also have the right to stop you, at random if you’re driving and perform a drug test.
- If you’re caught with a small amount:
The specifics change according to the state you’re in and generally, a ‘small amount’ won’t get you sent to jail.However, in many cases, even those simply possessing the ‘paraphernalia’ of drugs can be subject to strict penalties. You’ll generally get a caution for a small amount. After 2 cautions, you’ll have to go to court and that could result in a fine or imprisonment.
- If you are found to have had more substantial involvement with cannabis or with a larger quantity in your possession:
More serious activities related todealing with cannabis such as trafficking and exportation (anything which would move the drug in and or out of Australia) fall under the auspices of the Federal Police / boarder control.
FACTOverall, the suggestion here is do not involve yourself in cannabis in any way unless for medical use.
When will it be legal to buy cannabis in Australia?
It may be some time until recreational cannabis is legalized in Australia. Even the most optimistic timeframes suggest it will be several years before cannabis is legalized here. New Zealand, a close cultural match to Australia, for example, is holding a referendum in the near future, to ascertain whether its citizens would like to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Even they believe that finding cannabis on the streets of Queenstown (or any other NZ city) is more than 2 years away. Australia has yet, of course, to even start a discussion which might lead to a referendum on the matter.
One circumstance – the 2016 changing in the rules which has allowed medical marijuana to be bought legally could, inadvertently, help recreational use. Over time then, as the body of acceptable medical evidence grows, it is possible that evidence supporting the recreational use of cannabis will be found.
Can I buy marijuana online in Australia?
No. It’s not possible at this stage to buy either recreational or medicinal cannabis onlinein Australia.
There are some fakewebsites which will tell you the opposite and offer to post recreational or medical cannabis to your home address. Their intention is to scam you with a promise of posting you weed. They will then take your money, pocket it and send you nothing. Check reviews online and you will see plenty of people complaining.
From a mathematical standpoint, the chances of you being arrested and convicted for sending cannabis through the post appear to be remote, according to ‘Vice’, so long as the amount transacted is small enough. From a police standpoint, it would cost a lot of money to prove what had happened – i.e. that you ordered the drugs and waited for them to arrive, instead of, say, someone just deciding to post them to you without your knowledge.
Why is it illegal to buy weed in Australia?
Remember, just because it is natural does not mean it’s good for you. Cannabis contains a number of chemicals and compounds, the effects, especially long term effects of which, are still being figured out. They are not all good.
Can I buy marijuana seeds in Australia?
Yes, you can buy marijuana / cannabis seeds in Australia, but only if you are a patient with a prescription for medical cannabis. Marijuana seeds are a proxy for the drug and, in many ways, the same rules apply to the seeds as apply to any other form of cannabis.
So, for example, if you are caught with marijuana seeds and do not have a prescription for medical marijuana, the police will likely politely ask you for a very clear explanation of those apparently disparate facts.
Buying synthetic cannabis online
Actually, yes, you can often buy synthetic cannabis online in Australiaand have it delivered to you. Synthetic cannabis has been sold online here for more than a decade. It’s typically smoked or consumed in a hot drink.Some synthetic cannabis is shipped under pseudonyms like Spice or K2, into the country and, while it is often a stupid thing to take, you may not be breaking the law when you buy or use it.
The composition of synthetic cannabis is a little different to ‘proper’ (real, natural) marijuana.It’s designed to stimulate the same areas of the brain that are affected by the psychoactive ingredient present in real cannabis THC.
However, synthetic cannabis suffers from many of the drawbacks of any drug bought on the street – you never really know what you are given might contain.As a result, there is a great deal of risk associated with the use of synthetic cannabis. Just like the real thing, the long term effects of synthetic cannabis on users use have not been studied. More short term effects can be extremely troubling. Some of those who have used synthetic cannabis report side effects of use including a racing heart or kidney injury among users. Perhaps most concerningly, in early 2018, some synthetic cannabis users in Chicago, USA, suffered bleeding eyes as a result of consuming synthetic cannabis.
The way the law works at the moment, each variant of synthetic cannabis can only be banned when it has been used in the country and the police have come in to contact with it. Given the negative effects associated with some use of these drugs, and the difficulty of banning each ‘strain’, the government in Victoria is trying to find a way to have all types of synthetic cannabis banned before they are brought in to the country.
What cannabis can you buy online in other countries – e.g. the USA?
Buying cannabis online is fine in the 9 US states which have legalized the drug. Federal laws prohibit sending the cannabis you’ve bought overseas or even within America across state lines if either territory has yet to legalese cannabis.
There are online delivery outlets which will take your order within a state, and post it for delivery to another location in that state. Since prohibition of cannabis was ended, a number of new types of cannabis product have been created including edibles, vapes and pre-rolled cannabis cigarettes. These too can be sent through the post.
In some states which either legalized some time ago or have larger markets, it is possible to get get cannabis delivered legally through services such as Eaze.
So, how can I buy cannabis in Australia?
Even if you are a patient with a genuine need, buying cannabis is a convoluted process in Australia, with things as they stand. Things are getting better, partly as a result of some constructive steps being taken by the government to remove unnecessary hurdles in the process. (For example, removing the requirement for Drs. To have multiple signoffs from the TPA. )
From a patient standpoint, the first thing to do is to go and see your Doctor. He or she will walk you through the process.
Summing up your ability to buy cannabis in Australia
The ability to buy cannabis in Australia is extremely limited, even for those with a valid medical prescription. That said, there is a lot of medical testing of cannabis being undertaken at the moment. It’s possible that the results will lead to the legalization of the drug here for recreational use at some point.
Ultimately, the question over whether or not cannabis will be legalized for recreational purposes will come down to politics and economics. We cover both sides of the argument on this website and we’d love to hear from you if you think it should be legal to buy recreational cannabis in Australia.