September 25, 2019 / 10:28 AM / 23 days ago

Canberra becomes first Australian city to legalise marijuana for personal use

FILE PHOTO: A worker checks a cannabis plant at a medical cannabis farm near Skopje, North Macedonia September 13, 2019. REUTERS/Ognen Teofilovski

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Australia’s capital city of Canberra will become the first in the country to legalise the possession, use and cultivation of small amounts of cannabis following a vote on Wednesday.

Lawmakers in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) passed a bill allowing people aged 18 or over to possess up to 50 grams per person of cannabis and a maximum of four plants per household for personal consumption.

That makes the ACT the first among Australia’s six states and two main territories to legalise cannabis for personal use.

The new law is set to come into effect from Jan. 31, 2020.

Cannabis remains a prohibited substance under Australia’s federal law and the new law conflicts with national drug laws which were enacted by the country’s parliament that prohibits the possession of marijuana.

Neighbouring New Zealand will hold a referendum next year on legalising cannabis for personal use.

Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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