The possession of a small amounts of illicit drugs such as heroin, Ice and MDMA could be decriminalised here in the ACT if one politician gets his way.

Labor backbencher Michael Pettersson will introduce a bill into the Legislative Assembly next year which would see people caught in possession of small amounts of the illicit substances handed a fine and referred to support services, rather than being dealt with through the justice system.

Mr Pettersson said the Territory’s current drug laws just aren’t working.

“We’ve tried prohibition of these substances for 100 years, we’ve tried the just say ‘no’ approach and we’ve seen that drug use has continued to be a part of everyday Australian life.”

“If you’re a drug user you don’t need to go to jail, what you need is medical help.” He added.

The draft bill was released for community consultation on Monday before likely being entered into the Legislative Assembly in February next year.

Mr Pettersson said there’s appetite for change within the community and within the Assembly.


“I’m optimistic the Canberra Liberals will support this proposal, they’ve previously signalled, in a debate in the Assembly in August, that they’re open to the decriminalisation of some further substances.”

“I’m also hopeful that the ACT Greens will help.”