I've Lost Several Loved Ones to Heroin

This true story was submitted by someone who found us on Facebook. I thought it was worth telling for the thousands of other untold stories about how the drug prohibition harms us all. Greg Chipp

While under the influence of this drug these wonderful people often did horrendous things. I am not for one minute suggesting that any of this is OK or that it should be tolerated. What I am suggesting is that the current legal system is not preventing it from happening. The system is broken and it is failing us. Therefore I am suggesting that it needs to be fixed.

Drug related deaths and crimes need to be addressed in a way that effects change for the better.

Rational change to drug laws would result in better treatment and outcomes for the users of "hard" drugs like heroin, cocaine, ice etc. These changes would also alleviate an enormous amount of the social and financial burden associated with this type of drug use. Both society and the individual stand to benefit.

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Make this Election a referendum on Cannabis

The term war on drugs is so much more palatable than the truth; that the "war on drugs" is actually a war on people. A war on people who use drugs and their families and communities, the poor and disadvantaged, indigenous and ethnic minorities, women and children.

Free CannabisAfter five decades of prohibitionist propaganda and deliberate misinformation the public is finally learning the truth about Cannabis prohibition. Longstanding negative beliefs about drugs such as Cannabis have become so pervasive and entrenched within our society that most people forget the reason why cannabis was made illegal in the first place.

In the 1960s, drugs such as cannabis became symbols of youthful rebellion, social upheaval, and political dissent which the US government was desperate to control. Declaring war on certain drugs allowed the US administration to wage war on those communities that used those particular drugs.

In June 1971, U.S President Nixon declared his "war on drugs," claiming drug use as "public enemy number one in the United States". Subsequently, stigma around drugs became normalised and people who use drugs are seen as less worthy of protections and rights under the law.

Like any civil rights abuse the human right to bodily sovereignty was easy to destroy and nearly impossible to reclaim.

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New Victorian Cannabis Laws in 2016

Victoria has recently passed two significant pieces of legislation regarding cannabis. In some ways they make progress, in other ways they set us back. Share this article to help educate people about the positive progress that has been made in Victoria but also to raise awareness about the progress yet to be made.

x300.jpgAccess to Medical Cannabis Bill 2016

This bill is misleadingly publicised as the legalisation of medical cannabis. We are not satisfied that it did legalise medical cannabis, instead it ambiguously legalised medical cannabis products. Medical cannabis means cannabis cultivated or manufactured for medicinal purposes or for research purposes. Medicinal cannabis product means a substance, compound, preparation or mixture that is manufactured from cannabis for human use or consumption. This is unacceptably ambiguous and allows prescriptions to be limited to pharmaceutical products, such as Sativex by GW Pharmaceuticals.

Furthermore, this bill unreasonably restricts the patient groups allowed to benefit from medical cannabis.

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Arresting our way out of the Drug Problem?

On 29 November 2014, the Australian Federal Police announced an illicit drug seizure of 1.9 tonnes of MDMA and 849 kilos of methamphetamine. The police declared it to be the second largest illicit drug seizure ever in Australia and estimated the street value of this monster seizure at an extraordinary $1,500 million.

pill-testing-article1.pngIn a joint statement, Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Immigration and Border Protection Minister Scott Morrison and Justice Minister Michael Keenan praised law enforcement agencies and hailed a 'landmark day' in the fight against drugs and organised crime

NSW Police Commissioner Scipione declared that the NSW Police Force and their partner agencies have taken billions of dollars-worth of illicit drugs off the streets. The Commissioner added that the effects of this great seizure would be seen far and wide across the Australian community.

Not for the first time, Commissioner Scipione was wrong.

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Kofi Annan on Why It's Time To Legalize Drugs

article-kofi-annan300.pngEssay by Kofi Annan former Secretary-General of the United Nation

In my experience, good public policy is best shaped by the dispassionate analysis of what in practice has worked, or not. Policy based on common assumptions and popular sentiments can become a recipe for mistaken prescriptions and misguided interventions.

Nowhere is this divorce between rhetoric and reality more evident than in the formulation of global drug policies, where too often emotions and ideology rather than evidence have prevailed.

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Harm Reduction Innovation Fund

PolicyCheck: the Greens' Harm Reduction Innovation Fund drug policy

Nicole Lee, Curtin University

PolicyCheck, a new form of political analysis from The Conversation aims to make better sense of policies launched by the major parties in the lead-up to the 2016 election. Reprinted here, The Conversation’s academic experts look at the announcement by the Greens to establish a "Harm Reduction Innovation Fund". Drug Law Reform Australia endorses the initiative but believes the approach is a band-aid solution to the health problems caused by the prohibition of drugs. 

The Greens' leader Richard Di Natale used the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy conference in Sydney to announce a $10 million Harm Reduction Innovation Fund.

While there are few details of how the fund will operate, it is designed to invest in new approaches to reducing harms and deaths associated with alcohol and other drug use.

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Cost of Cannabis Law Enforcement

FactCheck: Does Australia spend $1.5 billion a year on drug law enforcement, with 70% due to cannabis?

Roger Nicholas, Flinders University and Ann Roche, Flinders University

Of the A$1.5 billion spent annually on drug law enforcement, 70% is attributable to cannabis. – Liberal Democrat Senator David Leyonhjelm, speaking in parliament in support of the passage of the Narcotic Drugs Amendment Bill 2016, on February 24, 2016.

Estimating Australia’s annual drug law enforcement expenditure is a difficult and inexact science.

Drug law enforcement may be involved with other crime fighting. For example, it’s hard to know exactly what proportion of the money spent tackling organised crime entails drug law enforcement, given that illicit drugs may be just one source of income for these groups.

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