Drugs policy & media misinformation

I thought the information below may be of interest to Bonner residents…

In recent days there has been a great deal of media misinformation regarding the Greens’ policy on illicit drugs.

The Australian Greens are very proud of all its policies. Our “Drugs, Substance Abuse and Addiction” policy is designed to save lives and reduce crime.

Prohibition is failing our society. Illicit drugs remain available, and in the decade to 2002 opiate deaths in Australia averaged 638 per year (source: Australian Institute of Criminology.) Our policy is an attempt to reduce the harm caused by drugs.

Our policy is to move the personal use of illicit drugs out of the criminal framework, and treat it as a health and social issue. Trafficking, distribution and sale of illicit drugs would remain a crime; only personal use and possession of personal quantities would be decriminalised.

With regard to heroin, we support pilot programs to test the effectiveness of the controlled availability of heroin to registered addicts from specially licensed clinics. This would remove the existing incentive for addicts to steal to fund their habits, thereby reducing crime. The licensed clinics would dispense health information and offer counselling services, thereby helping to keep addicts alive.

With regard to less addictive ‘social’ drugs such as amphetamines, our policy supports investigation into options for regulated supply in controlled environments. Any regulated supply would be in concert with the provision of health information. Although such drugs are generally considered less harmful than heroin, young Australians continue to die as a result of taking them. Our policy is an attempt to examine ways to halt these deaths.

Our policy does not in any way endorse or condone the use of illicit drugs. We support education campaigns to make young people fully aware of the health impacts of illicit drugs, and adequate drug treatment services for people seeking help with a drug addiction. What we are doing is recognising
that current government policies are not working, and seeking to reduce the harm that illicit drugs cause.

Our full policy can be read at www.greens.org.au/policies/society/drugssubstanceabuseandaddiction

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