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AIHW Report Confirms War on Drugs Has Failed

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Thursday, 16 July 2020

Tags: Drug Policy, Tobacco, Pill Testing, Health

Cassy O’Connor MP | Greens Leader

Latest Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data shows that the amount of Tasmanians who recently used cannabis was almost as high as Tasmania’s tobacco smoking rate.

Tasmania’s current smoking rate declined from 18.8% of the population in 2016 to 14.1% in 2019. Recent use of cannabis, however, increased to 12.6% in 2019.

While tobacco smoking continues to decline, cannabis use is instead increasing.

This highlights the pointlessness of the war on drugs, and also outlines to absurdity of criminalising personal use of a substance that 12.6% of Tasmanians have recently used, and more than a third of Australians have used in their lifetime.

The same report also identified that 55.3% of Tasmanians support pill testing. This number increases to an overwhelming 70% in the ACT, where pill testing trials have been conducted and factual knowledge about pill testing in more common.

In fact, of nine harm-minimisation policies canvassed, only one - trialling prescription of heroin - received less than 50% support.

It is time for a real, harm-minimisation health approach to drug use. The evidence supports it, as do the majority of Tasmanians