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Compulsory Cannabis Education

Jim Finnel

Fallen Cannabis Warrior & Ex News Moderator
Western Australia's Attorney-General, Jim McGinty, says he wants people caught with small amounts of cannabis to be forced to attend an education session about the drug.

In 2003, the WA Government introduced new laws allowing people caught with up to 30 grams of marijuana or two cannabis plants to avoid criminal penalties and instead pay a fine or attend an education session.

The State Opposition says the laws have failed to deter people from using the drug and has called on the Government to scrap them.

Mr McGinty says he will not consider introducing criminal penalties for the offences and wants more focus on education.

"At the moment, it's an option - you can either accept a fine or a suspension of your licence, or an education session," he said.

"I think we should be putting far more emphasis on educating young people as to the dangers of the drugs."

He says reinstating criminal penalties would be counterproductive.

"I don't see any public benefit of giving a young person, who is experimenting with cannabis and gets caught, a criminal record for the rest of their life to compromise their ability to get a job, their ability to travel," he said.

"I don't think that is a sensible way to go.

"What we must do is to make young people aware of the dangers of cannabis."

The state's cannabis laws will be reviewed this year.

News Hawk- User 420 MAGAZINE ® - Medical Marijuana Publication & Social Networking
Source: ABC News Online
Contact: ABC Online
Copyright: 2007 ABC
Website: McGinty calls for compulsory cannabis education

Smokin Moose

Fallen Cannabis Warrior
We have similar laws in Canberra, which is on the opposite side of the country. It may seem simplistic to some, but any law that makes cannabis smoking or possession a misdemeanour, rather than a felony, is a step in the right direction. Having a felony conviction for drugs in Australia is a nightmare. Because of cross-sharing of criminal databases, Australians are prevented from travelling to a lot of countries. Living on an island as we do in Australia, this effectively shuts you off from the world.
To get a visa for the US means having to establish that the crime you were convicted of is not considered moral turpitude. This is an unusual thing to address for it implies that smoking weed is an act of moral depravity.
To get into Canada, one must, after a reasonable period of time, be able to establish that you have rehabilitated yourself after a drug conviction.
In both the US and Canada, acquiring a visa means having to go through a complete criminal background check, and this can be very intimidating and embarrassing. If you have a felony conviction, there is no way around it. If you try and enter either country and try and conceal a felony history, they only have to check the shared database, and you are sent right back home on the next flight. A real bummer!
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