Even though Western Australia boasts the most stringent laws regarding drug usage and supplying, the Liberal Party wants stronger measures in place.
Western Australia’s opposition leader, Zak Kirkup unveiled a plan he believes is necessary to send a strong message to those who deal drugs. Kirkup explains the thought behind his idea is that the laws presently in place do not do enough to deter methamphetamine (meth) dealers.
In an impassioned statement, Mr Kirkup reiterated the Western Australia Liberal Party’s assertions, “These dealers are destroying the lives of West Australians. Meth dealers (are) getting arrested by police and then returning back to their evil ways within days or weeks of the arrest.”
Kirkup contends that West Australian law enforcement personnel are in a position where they are fighting a losing battle. Frequently officers make an arrest only to arrest the same meth dealer again in a matter of weeks or months.
Citing the need for substantial restrictions, Kirkup added, “we hope that many would-be meth dealers will be deterred from pursuing this life of crime and will consider doing something more productive with their lives.” The Libral Party promises the new statutes if they win the upcoming election.
The New Penalties of the Proposed Mandates
There are new penalties for meth dealers proposed by WA Liberal party. The harsher consequences are an attempt to cause the dealers to rethink their decision to sell the highly addictive drug. The sentencing proposed by the WA Liberal Party adheres to a system of four levels.
- Level One – A jail term of no less than one year when possessing 10 grams of methamphetamines.
- Level Two – Jail sentencing of a minimum of five years for holding 10 to 50 grams of meth.
- Level Three – A minimum jail sentence of 10 years for the possession of 50 to 200 grams of methamphetamines.
- Level Four – A jail term of at least 15 years for those in possession of 200 grams or more of meth.
Representatives of the Labour Party disagree with the need for these enhanced jail sentences for meth dealers. As noted, Western Australia laws that govern drug offences are the strictest in the nation.
WA Premier Mark McGowan said the state experienced a “60% reduction in meth usage.” McGowan further commented that the laws currently in place had “broken the supply chain” and already significantly cut methamphetamine use across Western Australia.
Among those who share Premier McGowan’s sentiments, is National Criminal Justice spokesperson for the Australian Lawyers Alliance Greg Barns SC. Barns feels that more severe mandatory sentences for meth dealers do not carry the promised impact. Citing other locations with strong mandatory sentencing, Barns said the tactic “just doesn’t work.”
Mr Barns went on to reject the assertion that those who deal meth receive minimal punishment. “There is no slap on a wrist,” Barns said, “If you’re a drug dealer you go to jail.”
West Australian residents will not need to wait long to learn if the meth-dealing penalties are increasing. Elections are March 13, and the voters can decide the fate of the proposed changes.
Do You Need Assistance With a Drug-Related Matter?
If you, or someone that you know, need legal assistance relating to charges of selling or supplying methamphetamine, contact Lawson Legal on (08) 9225 7417.
There is no charge for your initial consultation with one of our experienced criminal lawyers. For emergencies, you can contact the Lawson Legal team 24 hours a day.