A groundbreaking report on the harms from current drug laws, by Australia21 with health practitioners & social service agencies including Uniting & Anglicare. Local and international evidence shows that punishing people is not an effective way to reduce drug use; criminal prosecution can actually increase drug use and crime, as well as poverty, social disadvantage, unemployment, homelessness, family violence, child protection interventions, mental illness, stigma, discrimination and suicide.
The Long Walk to Treatment, Take Control campaign and a new Australia21 report highlight the health and social harms of flawed drug policies. The chorus of reasonable people demanding evidence-based law reform is sending a powerful message to Australia’s politicians and policy makers: now is the time to put health and safety first.
Manuel Cardoso, the man who reformed Portugal’s drug policy, tells Australians that values including humanism, pragmatism and cooperation were are the heart of the legal change that put a stop to criminal convictions for personal use, reducing direct and indirect drug harms.
The Federal Budget is a reflection of the vision and values of the government of the day. So what does the 2018 Budget say about Australia’s current leadership and the direction it’s setting for our nation? Australia21 has unpacked the policy decisions and the messages they convey, as well as the post-Budget commentary. Now Chair, Paul Barratt, delivers our verdict.
Pill testing at the Groovin the Moo festival in Canberra was only a trial, it didn’t ever claim to be the definitive model for how drug testing should be conducted. Further trials are needed, to provide more quantitative and qualitative data for evaluating the effectiveness in terms of drug harm reduction.
The Greens want to legalise and regulate cannabis for Australians over the age of 18. Their policy announcement has set off alarm bells for many, especially those concerned about young people getting easy access to yet another dangerous drug. But possibly more notable than the objections is the seismic shift in the drug debate.
Why should the rest of us care about someone being punished for what everyone knows is a crime? Well here’s why: because of the collateral damage to families and the negative flow on effects across our communities. When the wheels fall off, we all end up paying.