The New South Wales government announced this week that police would be given the power to issue up to two on-the-spot $400 fines to adults for personal drug use and possession of a small quantity of illicit drugs. Those issued a fine would be encouraged to complete a drug and alcohol intervention program and would have their fine waived once completed.
The $400 Criminal Infringement Notices would not apply to drug supply, dealing, trafficking, production, or manufacturing.
It would also not be available to people who had already received two fines for drug possession or previously convicted drug dealers.
Robert Taylor from the Alcohol and Drug Foundation welcomed the new policy, though he would have liked it to go further by removing all penalties for personal drug use. "Any attempt to offer people pathways out of the criminal justice system, and into a health-based response can help contribute to reducing stigma," he said.
Mr Taylor said having only two chances to be fined would disadvantage people who were drug-dependent and the $400 fine would be detrimental to people in lower socio-economic groups.
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