Illegal drug production is unregulated and many drugs are manufactured in backyard labs. A large proportion of the work of the justice system — police, courts and prisons — is occupied with drug-related offences. Many people have a criminal record for possessing drugs intended for personal use, which can affect their work prospects. Drug busts have little impact on the availability of drugs and, as we continue to see more harms including overdoses and deaths, it is clear we need a new approach to illicit drugs.
By Jarryd Bartle Australians have a more progressive stance to cannabis reform than current laws reflect. A poll conducted by the Greens this week found that the majority of Tasmanians support the decriminalisation of recreational use of cannabis in the state. This is in line with the findings of the latest National Drug Strategy Household Survey NDSH Survey showing Australians largely support the decriminalisation of cannabis and the use of medicinal cannabis, and a growing number support full legislation of cannabis.
A recent study also found more than half of surveyed Australian GPs are in favour of prescribing medicinal cannabis. Despite opinion polls, Australian state laws flip-flop on their approach to cannabis decriminalisation. For example, South Australian Attorney Attorney-General Vickie Chapman recently announced plans to quadruple fines for people found in possession of more than a small quantity.
As the median age of adult prisoners is 34 years, this means that the young men who will fill this prison for the last few years of the contract are currently around 8 - 10 years old and at primary school.
Some of them are running into trouble right about now. Is our community really unable to provide interventions for these kids that would block their pathway towards incarceration? Record numbers of people currently 6, are in our state prisons, for longer periods, with fewer support programs in place.
They have minimal if any supervision when they leave.
Even if they are housed in the most enlightened of facilities, they will inevitably leave with a prison record, and all the negative sequelae of incarceration - both physical and psychological. Many will remain unemployed, marginalised and welfare dependent for months or years.
Australia has committed to eliminating HCV by To achieve this, an expansion of harm reduction in prisons is essential. A combination of three strategies is needed to achieve this, all of which are supported by evidence. Treating all detainees with HCV antibodies with direct-acting antivirals Introducing needle and syringe programs to prisons Expanding access for detainees to pharmacotherapy Treating all detainees with HCV antibodies with direct-acting antivirals In recent years a new interferon-free direct-acting antiviral DAAs has been made available through the PBS to everyone living with HCV.
This represents a huge achievement for Australia with no restrictions to access as there are in other countries. Over the last years there has been an increase in awareness campaigns and medical practitioner training and general practitioners received prescription rights.
DAAs do not however provide protective immunity and reinfection can occur.Why We Need Drug Policy Reform About This Image Caravan for Peace, a month-long campaign to protest the brutal drug war in Mexico and the US, ended in Washington D.C.
on September 10, Desmond Manderson, an expert on the history of Australian drug policy, has asserted that from this time forward, Australia's drug policies have been more dictated by international relations and a political need for moral panic than any concern for health and welfare (Manderson, ).
Drug Policy Australia is a public health NGO primarily concerned with promoting new approaches to minimise the health risks and other harms caused by the use of both licit and illicit Drugs which affects the wellbeing of all Australians.
Drug busts have little impact on the availability of drugs and, as we continue to see more harms including overdoses and deaths, it is clear we need a new approach to illicit drugs.
This week, a parliamentary drug summit, convened by the Australian Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy and Law Reform, is debating drug policy reform in Australia. The President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation Dr Alex Wodak was recently interviewed by the Sax Institute about drug prohibition and drug law reform.
The Sax Institute is a national leader in promoting the use of research evidence in health policy. Drug-induced deaths have hit their highest number in 20 years and , Australians are unable to get the treatment they need each year.
Now is the time for meaningful and effective drug policy reform/5(2).