Illicit drugs policy

Attempts to control drug use through the criminal justice system have clearly failed. They have also caused the needless and damaging criminalisation of too many young people, often with adverse life-changing consequences, including premature death from overdose.

Our research and discussion forums amply demonstrate that there is no single magic bullet or solution for the management of this complex problem. But drug law reforms urgently need to be considered by all Australian Governments. The goals of these reforms should be:
• reducing deaths, disease, crime and corruption
• improving the protection of human rights of all Australian citizens (including especially young people
• reducing the burden on the criminal justice system, taxpayers and families.

In September 2015, Australia21 held a third roundtable on drug laws, this time with law and law enforcement experts. The report from the roundtable is due to be released in early 2017. Roundtable participants

 

Previous roundtable reports and discussion papers

Download Discussion Paper 1 What are the likely costs and benefits of a change in Australia’s policy on illicit drugs
McDonald, D 2011, A Background paper for an Australia21 roundtable, Sydney, 31 January 2012, addressing the question: What are the likely costs and benefits of a change in Australia’s current policy on illicit drugs? Australia21, Canberra.

Download Report 1 The prohibition of illicit drugs is killing and criminalising our children and we are all letting it happen
Douglas, R & McDonald, D 2012, The prohibition of illicit drugs is killing and criminalising our children and we are all letting it happen, Australia21, Canberra.

Download Discussion Paper 2 What can Australia learn from different approaches to drugs in Europe including especially Portugal, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden?
Hughes, C & Wodak, A 2012, A Background paper for an Australia21 roundtable, Melbourne, 6 July 2012, addressing the question: What can Australia learn from different approaches to drugs in Europe including especially Portugal, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Sweden? Australia21, Canberra.

Download Report 2 Alternatives to prohibition: Illicit drugs: How we can stop killing and criminalising young Australians
Douglas, R, Wodak, A & McDonald, D 2012, Alternatives to prohibition: Illicit drugs: How we can stop killing and criminalising young Australians, Australia21, Canberra.

 

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Participants in Australia21’s first illicit drugs roundtable held at the University of Sydney, January 2012

  • Illicit drugs policy – Background
    Posted: September 16, 2013 - Anne Quinn

    In June 2011 a groundbreaking report, War on Drugs was released by the prestigious Global Commission on Drug Policy that included the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan […]

    Read more

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