THE Australian Capital Territory has (kind of) legalised marijuana. But before January 31 (which is when the laws come in to place) becomes Australia's version of 420, let's cover what the bill means.
Adults can to possess up to 50 grams of dried cannabis or 150 grams of wet (or fresh) cannabis. Adults can also grow two plants at their place of residence. Each house can have a maximum of four plants.
Plants cannot be grown in a hydroponic set up (under lights) or in a nature strip and you can't smoke in a public place. The supply of seeds remains illegal, while other laws such as supplying or driving with detectable levels of cannabis in your system remain unchanged.
So it's legal, but not really.
But it's a step towards legalisation - and let's be honest, the war on drugs has failed. There are just as many, if not more people using narcotics than ever before.
If we take the emotion out of it, legalisation makes sense. Look to America, where 11 states have legalised cannabis, creating a multi-billion industry (and billions in tax revenue for the benefit of the rest of the country).
I can bore you with the facts about how alcohol and smoking are just as harmful, if not more so, than cannabis, but you're either already well aware of them or you've heard them before and chosen to ignore them.
All that said, file Canberra's laws under "watch this space".
No doubt the laws will be reviewed by federal government. As the ACT is a territory, not a state, the federal government has the ability to challenge laws it doesn't like.
It's a rarely used power and one that's usually only applied to controversial social issues, like when Canberra legalised same-sex marriages for a week before a challenge from the Commonwealth saw it overturned.
A similar situation occurred when it the Northern Territory's euthanasia laws were repealed in 1997.
It also leaves police in an unusual situation - they might not be able to charge people under ACT laws, but they can still charge them under Commonwealth law, which has stricter penalties.