Category Archives: Drug Reform

JOHN MENADUE. Drug policy reform series

Attached is a collection of articles on drug policy reform, which were published as a series on Pearls and Irritations between 6 and 11 August 2018.This series is designed to draw attention to this important issue, and to the failure … Continue reading

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KOFI ANNAN. Stop ‘war on drugs’ (05.11.13, CNN)

Each year, hundreds of thousands of people around the world die from preventable drug-related disease and violence. Millions of users are arrested and thrown in jail. Globally, communities are blighted by drug-related crime. Citizens see huge amounts of their taxes … Continue reading

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JENNIFER DOGETT AND P & I CONTRIBUTIONS. -An important series on drug law reform (Croakey)

Drug law reform is an issue that has been on the political agenda for decades, with varying degrees of urgency.  Yet despite the overwhelming evidence for law reform and the sustained efforts of advocates from a range of sectors, most … Continue reading

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ALEX WODAK. Drug Reform Series- Portugal’s successful drug law reform in 2001

Treating personal drug use as an administrative offence along the lines of a parking violation has worked well for Portugal. It has not only been a public health and public policy success but also a political one.

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DOUG TAYLOR. Drug Reform Series. Canada is set to become only the second country in the world to legalise marijuana.

Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, announced the move to legalise marijuana   earlier this year. He said the move would take the market share away from organised crime and protect the country’s youth.

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CHRIS PUPLICK. Drug Reform series -The evidence for drug policy reform is clear.

Australia’s drug policy regime is ruining people’s lives and causing more misery and cost than it saves.  A new approach is needed, one that is evidence based and recognises the personal, social and economic benefits of policies other than mere … Continue reading

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PETER BAUME. Drug Reform series- Drug policy: None so blind

Current drug policy is based on the unrealistic belief that we can stamp out possession and use of illicit drugs, much like prohibition of alcohol in 1920s America.  It also fails to account for the harm caused by our strictly … Continue reading

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TONY TRIMINGHAM. Drug Reform Series-Don’t punish drug users. Help them instead.

This is mostly a personal story, about my son Damien, who died from heroin use in 1997, at the age of 23.  I feel sure that his death could have been avoided if we had at the time an approach … Continue reading

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HELEN TYRRELL. Drug Reform series-Grasping the nettle: Prisons, drug use and the law

Every day people are imprisoned for drug-related crimes in line with ‘tough on drugs’ policies. It’s time to face the futility and unsustainability of this approach to drug use.  

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KEITH HAMBURGER. Drug Reform series – punishment alone is not the answer.

Australian prisons are severely overcrowded. Much crime is drug related. Some 75% of prisoners have a substance abuse problem. The majority of prisoners are not rehabilitated by their prison experience as evidenced by high recidivism rates, particularly for First Nation … Continue reading

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GINO VUMBACA. Drug Reform series-At last, a government sanctioned pill testing program

We are finally seeing in Australia the first signs of a recognition by government of the important public health benefits of sanctioned pill testing programs.  Law enforcement alone will never overcome the problems that can arise from drug use. Much … Continue reading

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IAN WEBSTER. Drug Reform Series- Drug policy and justice

In the final analysis, drug policy based on prohibition fails to meet the test of fairness and justice in the lives of those most directly affected.

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MICHAEL HART. Drug Reform Series – Drub Policy-an addiction to failure

A careful assessment of our policy towards currently illegal drugs and our struggle with the trade in these drugs brings forth a somber but frank conclusion about the war on drugs.  It should stop.

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RALPH SECCOMBE. Drug Reform series-Production of illicit drugs – the balloon effect

Policy on illicit drugs should be developed on the basis that supply can never be cut off. Production is like a balloon: squeeze it in one place, but it will only bulge out elsewhere. This applies all the way to … Continue reading

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ALEX WODAK. Drug Reform Series -Drug policy: prohibition and punishment is just not effective

The failure and futility of drug prohibition has been well accepted among political elites in Australia for a long time. It is time we debated the merits of regulation, combined with targeted health and social intervention, rather than blunt prohibition … Continue reading

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BILL BUSH. Drug Reform series- High drug incarceration – harms manifest and benefits hard to perceive

At 160 prisoners per 100,000 of population, Australia’s prison rate in 2016 was more than 3 times the rate of the 1940s and 1950s.  The steep increase correlates with an increasingly repressive drug policy and the closure of mental health … Continue reading

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MICK PALMER. Drug Reform series-The Blind Eye of History: from policing alcohol prohibition to policing drug prohibition

Australia has some unhappy laws which result in people using illicit drugs being severely punished. When thinking about this, one should recall laws used half a century ago to criminalise Aboriginal people who drank alcohol.

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MARION McCONNELL. Drug Reform series-The long road to drug law reform

“What should I tell people about your son’s death”, asked our Minister. He was there to discuss arrangements for our son’s funeral. In my overwhelming grief it hadn’t crossed my mind, but now it immediately struck me.  Our son had … Continue reading

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GEOFF GALLOP. Drug Reform series-The politics of drug decriminalisation

Policies around drug decriminalisation should be evidence based, recognise the need for a nuanced rather than fundamentalist approach and take account of the advances made in the field of harm reduction, not just law enforcement.  Reform measures should be premised … Continue reading

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ANN SYMONDS. Drug Reform series -The politics of social change

The War on Drugs has failed.  Not only has it failed to stem the use of illicit drugs but it has also given rise to a host of other issues, including increased crime and corruption and a higher rate of … Continue reading

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JOHN MENADUE Drug reform series

From next Monday Pearls and Irritations will be posting fifteen articles on the need for drug reform.  

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