Australian Drug Law Reform News
We have a new YouTube channel, subscribe to follow our series that looks at many of Australia’s drug problems, drug policy from around the world and specific issues in Australian Drug Law Reform Policy from the point of view of experts in the field.
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.
UPDATE: A recording of this event is now available to stream or download. Many thanks to the UNSW Law Society for sharing.
The lecture given by Dr Wodak on the 18-April-2012 is now available to stream or download. Many thanks to the sponsors.
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.
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.
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).
“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.”
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.
Watch Geoffrey Robertson QC and number of other prominent international figures debate the war on drugs
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.