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Archer’s Cold War Cannabis Response Outdated

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP

Dr Rosalie Woodruff MP  -  Saturday, 16 July 2022

Tags: Drug Policy, Health, Justice

Tasmanians overwhelmingly want to decriminalise the personal use of marihuana, and Minister Archer’s views are way behind the community. They position her with a tiny rump of cold war anti-drug zealots whose views perpetuate avoidable harms.

The latest AIHW data is evidence 83% of Tasmanians want to treat the personal use of cannabis as a health-based issue, instead of a legal one.

It is concerning that Minister Archer continues to peddle misinformation, including that the recreational use of cannabis “can lead to more complex health and other issues”. This is an outdated reflexive response that does not befit a Minister during her own public consultation phase of the Tasmanian Drug Strategy 2022-2027. It suggests she has already bunkered down and closed her mind to what the majority of Tasmanians might tell her.

What is extremely well-evidenced is that treating personal drug use as a crime reduces people’s connection to social support networks, as well as treatment and recovery services. It also misdirects government resources from dealing with narcotics’ production and trafficking, which are serious and socially harmful activities.

The Greens have long proposed a well-evidenced model for cannabis regulation and decriminalisation, which is strongly supported by the medical community and retired police commissioners, judges and magistrates.

We sincerely recommend Minister Archer takes her fingers out of her ears and listens to her own consultation process, and the evidence that a health-based approach to personal cannabis use is good for the whole community, as well as for personal users.