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.
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.
A national health and social services Roundtable summit on drug law reform in March 2018 addressed the evidence that a prohibition and law enforcement approach is not reducing illegal drug use, but is instead causing many adverse outcomes across our communities. Can you help us make sure the outcomes of the Roundtable help influence drug law reform?