People Are Pissed Off After South Australia Announced It Was Going To Ramp Up Its War On Drugs
South Australian attorney-general Vickie Chapman announced on Monday plans to quadruple fines for cannabis possession and introduce prison sentences.
Currently cannabis is decriminalised in South Australia – it became the first state to do so in 1987 – and most people caught with small amounts of the drug face a fine of $125 to $500.
But Chapman’s new legislation could see that fine reach $2,000, as well as a prison sentence of up to two years.
“It is a serious drug,” she told ABC radio, saying the new penalties bring the state into line with the rest of the country. “It needs to be dealt with as a controlled substance.”
A coronial inquest into the 2012 shooting death of 18-year-old Lewis McPherson is being cited by Chapman as a major reason for the new policy, after deputy coroner Anthony Schapel recommended an increase in the penalty associated with cannabis.
McPherson’s killer was found to be affected by alcohol, ecstasy and cannabis when he shot the teenager.
Chapman said there were “a number of medical people”, including the coroner, who backed up the need for harsher punishment. She did not specify on who these people were.