Federal ministers fired up over ACT's new cannabis laws

A cannabis plant. Source: supplied

Federal cabinet ministers are fired up over the ACT government's decision to legalise cannabis possession for recreational use.

Federal cabinet ministers have lashed the ACT government's decision to legalise cannabis, sparking warnings weed smokers could still get burnt by federal laws.

The ACT Legislative Assembly passed laws legalising the recreational use of marijuana on Wednesday, with the new regime to allow residents over 18 to possess up to 50 grams and grow two plants from next year.

The decision prompted Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack to wonder if lawmakers were lighting up.

"Here's the ACT government probably spending too much time smoking hooch themselves, then wanting to legalise the stuff. I mean this is madness," he told reporters.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said Attorney-General Christian Porter was examining the decision.

"I think it might be trendy for the ACT government to go down this path and they'll say they're enlightened and progressive and all rest of it, but I think it's dangerous," he told 2GB radio.

Mr Porter said the federal government had yet to see a final copy of the bill but would be reviewing it to see if it clashed with commonwealth drug laws.

"I think this is a really dumb idea," he told 6PR radio.

"If you're in the ACT and you're waking up today ... there are still commonwealth laws that apply."

But the territory's chief minister Andrew Barr dismissed concerns Canberrans could be targeted by federal prosecutors for cannabis possession.

Instead, he expects the decision to allow police to focus on large-scale cultivation and drug networks.

Mr Barr questioned if the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions would spend time prosecuting people for possession of less than 50 grams of cannabis.

"It's one thing for police to arrest someone, it's another thing to successfully prosecute someone," he told the ABC.

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