Illicit Drug Data Report 2011–12

The Australian Crime Commission released its ‘Illicit Drug Data Report 2011–12’ on 20 May 2013. The Illicit Drug Data Report (IDDR) 2011–12 provides a snapshot of the Australian illicit drug market. The report brings together illicit drug data from a variety of sources, including law enforcement, health organisations and academia. The IDDR is the only report of its type in Australia and provides an important evidence base to assist decision-makers in the development of strategies to combat the threat posed by illicit drugs. The Australian Crime Commission included the following among its key findings: • ‘A record 23.8 tonnes of illicit drugs were seized nationally’. • ‘The number of national illicit drug seizures and arrests are the highest reported in the last decade’. • ‘Over the last decade, cannabis has remained the dominant illicit drug in Australia in terms of arrests, seizures and use’. Amphetamine-Type Stimulants: • ‘Both the number and weight of ATS (excluding MDMA) detections at the Australian border increased and are the highest reported in the last decade’. • ‘The weight of national ATS seizures increased by 55.9 per cent’. • ‘The number of national ATS arrests increased to 16 828 and is the highest reported in the last decade’. Cannabis: • ‘There was a record 2 660 cannabis detections at the Australian border, with cannabis seeds continuing to account for the majority of detections’. • ‘The number and weight of national cannabis seizures increased, with the number of seizures the highest reported in the last decade’. • ‘The number of national cannabis arrests continued to increase and is the highest reported in the last decade’....

Denmark withdraws funding from the UNODC

Australia should take note of this recent decision by Denmark. Does Australia know if any of its donations to UNODC or Asian countries are used in part or full for executions of people convicted of drug offenses? Or used for compulsory treatment? It’s time that Australia made an open commitment to only donate funds for prevention, drug treatment or harm reduction. More information about the link between international aid, drug enforcement and human rights violations can be found on the London School of Economics...

Breaking the Taboo (documentary)

Breaking the Taboo is a global grass-roots campaign website against the War on Drugs, run by the Beckley Foundation in association with The Global Commission on Drug Policy, Virgin Unite, Avaaz and Sundog Pictures. The Mission Statement of the campaign is the Beckley Foundation Public Letter calling for a new approach to the War on Drugs, signed by nine Presidents, twelve Nobel prizewinners, and many other world figures. The site hosts a coalition of international NGOs, united in their belief that the War on Drugs has failed and that global drug policy can and must be reformed. An Avaaz petition is hosted on the site, which will be presented to the UN. We hope that by collecting together so many voices calling for change, we will finally be able to persuade governments and lawmakers into adopting a humane and rational approach to...

Regulating Cannabis

Common sense has prevailed in two US states that yesterday voted to regulate cannabis. Voters in Colorado and Washington state have sent a clear message to their elected officials that punishing people for a consensual transaction (buying and selling cannabis) violates the will of the majority. The Washington State Liquor Control Board, Department of Agriculture and Department of Health have until December 1, 2013 to create a licensing system that involves the taxation, production and sale of cannabis. It will remain an offense to sell cannabis to people under the age of 21 and drive whilst intoxicated. Like any agricultural commodity designed for human consumption, product regulations are likely to ensure cannabis is sold with appropriate health warnings and is grown in stable soil conditions, treated for mold spore and placed in airtight packaging with an expiration date. The Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation welcomes the decision to tax and regulate cannabis. According to a report prepared by Commonwealth Government in 1994: Australian society experiences more harm, we conclude, from maintaining the prohibition policy than it experiences from the use of the drug We call on all Australians to join others in agitating for law reform and to protect the health and safety of our communities by regulating...

Australian Cartoonist tackles the War on Drugs

Australian Cartoonist Stuart McMillen has produced a wonderful comic that highlights the similarities between our current policy of drug prohibition and alcohol prohibition in 1920’s America. Stuart has very generously made the entire publication available online. His forthcoming work is explained in the video below: Stuart is currently looking for funds to turn his ideas into reality. Readers can support him by ‘crowdfunding’ his new project...