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...

Alternatives to Prohibition

Over in our right-hand column you will find a link to the newly released Australia21 report Alternatives to Prohibition: Illicit drugs: How we can stop killing and criminalising young Australians. You will also find links to a number of other reports that highlight different approaches to drug laws around the world and the effect they have had. The release of such a widely publicised document on drug policy draws a considerable amount of attention and generates a tremendous amount of discussion. Here are a number of feature articles that have appeared over the last week: Drug use is an issue for society, not the criminal justice system by Richard Horton Dobbing mothers unite for drug reform by Lisa Pryor Drug prohibition: moving to Plan B by Alex Wodak Australia’s pointless and deadly drugs crackdown by Greg Barns A new approach to drug reform: regulated supply of cannabis and ecstasy by David Penington Leaders know they have stupid drug policies, but don’t have the guts to change them by Tory Shepherd Expert supports legalising drugs in The Northern...

Medical marijuana coverage on Channel 7

The Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation welcomes Channel 7’s stereotype busting story about the use of medical marijuana among older Americans. The complete video of this story, which aired on the network’s Sunday Night program, is available to view on their website. Efforts to establish a medical cannabis trial in New South Wales have been underway since 1999. In October 2011 the Californian Medical Association [CMA] became the first medical society to officially support marijuana legalisation. Their President James T. Hay MD, as reported by the American Medical Association, explained that: “This was a carefully considered, deliberative decision made exclusively on medical and scientific...

Listen: Drug Law Wars

Is it time to rethink Australia’s drug policy? Join Dr Alex Wodak AM, Senior Specialist of St Vincent Hospital’s Alcohol and Drug Service and President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation, as he discusses the ‘war on drugs’ with host Sally Warhaft. MP3: Drug Law Wars – Dr Alex Wodak & Sally...