Australian Drug Law Reform News

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On the radio

UPDATE: one of our ADLRF members has kindly linked me to a comprehensive media repository of the Australia21 report. It can be found here. Thanks AIVL!

Panel discussion on Drug law reform

Radio National – Illegal Drugs

Derryn Hinch interviews Professor Bob Douglas AO, Author of report “The prohibition of illicit drugs is killing and criminalising our children and we are letting it happen”

Australia: Illegal drug trade now measured in billions

Australians for Drug Law Reform

To coincide with a new report by the think tank Australia21 a group of prominent Australians including the Hon Bob Carr AC have today called for a change to Australia’s policy on illicit drugs.

The full text of the report entitled The Prohibition of Illicit Drugs is Killing and Criminalising our Children and we are all Letting it Happen can found here.

Please visit our page advocates of reform for a list of other high profile Australians who support drug law reform.

Examples of drug law reform from around the globe can be viewed here.

A call for evidence-based policies on illegal drugs

One of Canada’s chief medical officers has added his voice to the case for drug law reform.

Writing in the peer-reviewed journal of open medicine, Dr Kendall and his co-authors argue a strong case for evidence based drug policies.

They conclude:

In light of the persistently widespread availability and relative safety of cannabis in comparison to existing legal drugs, as well as the crime and violence that exist secondary to prohibition of this drug,4 there is a need for discussion about the optimal regulatory strategy to reduce the harms of cannabis use while also reducing unintended policy-attributable consequences (e.g., the organized crime that has emerged under prohibition).

In a media interview with The Sun, Dr Kendall states that:

“The fact cannabis is illegal doesn’t diminish access rates. The so-called war on drugs has not achieved its stated objective of reducing rates of drug use. It’s universally available in B.C. and the supply is controlled largely by criminal enterprise,” Kendall told The Sun.

“It should be regulated just like alcohol and tobacco. It [cannabis] is less addictive than either of those.”

Measuring the Illegal Drug Economy of Australia

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has made an estimate of the size of the illegal drug economy in Australia. They report:

Results for the 2010 year suggest Gross Value Added (GVA), Household Final Consumption Expenditure (HFCE) and Imports for the illegal drug economy is 0.5%, 1.0% and 0.4% of total Australian GDP, HFCE and Imports respectively. This paper has applied the OECD recommended methodology to estimate the value of the illegal drug economy in Australia.

Please note that these are not to be regarded as official statistics.

The report can be found by clicking here.

Joint Statement Against Compulsory Treatment

UNESCO on compulsory drug detention:

United Nations entities call on States to close compulsory drug detention and rehabilitation centres and implement voluntary, evidence-informed and rights-based health and social services in the community The continued existence of compulsory drug detention and rehabilitation centres, where people who are suspected of using drugs or being dependent on drugs, people who have engaged in sex work, or children who have been victims of sexual exploitation are detained without due process in the name of “treatment” or “rehabilitation”, is a serious concern.

Australia21 report now available!

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Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation
PO Box R169
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Email: info@adlrf.org.au

Ban Ki-Moon

In addition to criminalizing HIV transmission, many countries impose criminal sanctions for same-sex sex, commercial sex and drug injection. Such laws constitute major barriers to reaching key populations with HIV services. Those behaviours should be decriminalized, and people addicted to drugs should receive health services for the treatment of their addiction’.

For example, in Eastern Europe, people who inject drugs represent more than 80 per cent of all people living with HIV but account for less than 25 per cent of those receiving antiretroviral treatment.

Progress made in the implementation of the Declaration of Commitment on HIV/AIDS and the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS

Report of the Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon

7 May 2009