420 Guide: Melbourne. What you need to know about the law when buying weed

Marijuana laws in Melbourne

What’s the law if you get caught with weed in Victoria, Australia?

While medicinal marijuana has been legalised in Victoria, unless you have a licence, it’s still illegal to buy, sell and consume.

Like many countries, the laws for cannabis possession in Australia vary between states. Each state has adopted a harm minimization approach.

According to Victorian Legal Aid, if you’re caught with up to fifty grams of marijuana in Victoria, you will get a caution from police, rather than being formally charged in a court. However, you can be charged with possession no matter the quantity. The decision to warn or charge you for possession of marijuana is at police discretion.

If you’re buying small amounts of weed, for example, you purchase five grams of pot from a Melbourne based website, and you’re caught for whatever reason, this will almost certainly result in a police caution if it’s your first offense.  Police will allow up to two cautions before you’re charged with marijuana possession.

In the above situation where you’re buying dope online, it’s hard to imagine the police posing as a dealer in order to entrap you — with most the deals being so small scale and all — but you never know…

Places where police are active in Melbourne

Police sniffer dogs are found at the international and domestic airports, on public trains, trams and major public events such as music festivals and sport and cultural activities. Police in Melbourne and Victoria are equipped to carry out roadside tests for the presence of illicit drugs. At the time of writing, these tests are targeted at truckies and have not been rolled out to wider public as we’ve seen in New South Wales.

What to do if you get caught

If police do catch you smoking weed, be polite and professional. Victorian police are not like overseas police, do not try and bribe your way out or make a deal as this will put you in a worse position. Your best chance of getting off the hook it by showing respect and compliance.

If you are charged, the police will need to prove that the substance was actually yours and that it was dope. If the police find weed in a space you control, such as your car or handbag, then it’s considered to be yours. And if you’re charged with possession, you can also be charged with consuming marijuana, which can carry an additional penalty.

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