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CLC Report Should Prompt Informed Debate on Drug Law Reform

Cassy O'Connor MP  -  Monday, 30 January 2023

Tags: Drug Policy, Health

Cassy O'Connor MP | Greens Leader

The release of a new report into the costs of criminalising drugs in Tasmania is welcome. The Community Legal Centre report highlights why it’s time for a serious community conversation about drugs.

Like many other parts of the world, Tasmania has taken a hard-line approach to drug policy. Across the board, the evidence clearly shows it’s costly, ineffective, and harmful.

The release of this new report could have been the perfect opportunity for the Rockliff Government to take a step back from the decades-old ‘war on drugs’, and to properly consider the evidence and community views on this issue.

Instead the Liberals have rejected the possibility of even having a community conversation about drug reform. What are they afraid of?  Do they really think the current approach is in any way effective?

The Attorney-General says drugs result in addiction and serious medical issues, and that’s why their use should be a criminal offence. That’s an incredibly ill-informed comment.  Drug use is a health issue, not a crime against another person.

Elise Archer’s refusal to consider alternatives is making criminals of recreational drug users.

The Greens recognise the profound harm caused by drugs. We support evidence-based policies that reduce harm – rather than those designed to fit a conservative ideological agenda.

If the Rockliff Government thinks it can put a stop to the conversation about drug reform they are sadly mistaken. 

Recreational drug use is decriminalised in many parts of the world, including in the United States – which started the failed ‘War on Drugs’.

The world is moving on.  The Rockliff Government seems stuck in a punitive past.