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Splendour In The Grass Proves How Broken Australia’s Drug Laws Are

Tony Trimingham said earlier this year that “families want services that assist rather than punish and criminalise people in a way that creates lifelong penalties”. Nowhere is our punitive, counter-productive approach to drug use more perfectly encapsulated than the hypocritical, expensive police operations run at music festivals like Splendour in the Grass. […]

Is addiction really a disease?

If we can acknowledge that addiction is like a disease in some ways and very much unlike a disease in other ways, maybe we can stop trying to label it and pay more attention to the best means for overcoming it. […]

Secret Garden Party becomes first UK festival to introduce drug testing

“For the first time we’ve been able to offer the testing service to individual users as part of a tailored advice and information package provided by a team of experienced workers. This can help people make informed choices, raising awareness of dangerous substances and reducing the chance of drug-related problems.” […]

Decades on, old foes unite for new drug approach

Next month’s summit, the initiative of a group of MPs from across political divides, will consider how a harm-minimisation approach could be extended to today’s major drug challenges, including the rising availability and use of ice. […]

NZ: Numbers on cannabis speak for themselves

The advocates of decriminalising cannabis now have an economic case to press. A Treasury official, in a document prepared for a brainstorming session, suggested the Government could save more than $500 million a year legalising the popular drug. […]

Italian Parliament to Consider Marijuana Legalization

Italy hopes to jown a growing list of countries that have recently reformed marijuana laws. If Italy passes the bill currently under consideration, it would become the first European country to legalize marijuana for non-medical use. […]

Why more drug consumption rooms are a must

It’s well and truly time we opened more Drug Consumption Rooms in our major cities and in some of our larger regional centres. New centres should also be able to handle people who inhale ice, a drug about which the community rightly remains concerned. […]

Calls for needle exchange programs in jail

The spread of blood-borne diseases such as hepatitis B and C among Australia’s prison population has prompted a call for jails to establish needle exchange programs. […]

Drugs, Dissociatives and Displacement: The Festival Drug Report

The only way that we can know for sure what is circulating at festivals and whether dealers are misselling NPS to users is to conduct forensic testing on site and to match what users think they have bought with what they have actually bought. This is essential for public safety, for emergency services to respond appropriately to incidents, and for targeted harm reduction messages to users. […]

NZ should introduce meth inhalation rooms: Aus addiction expert

An Australian drug addiction treatment expert says New Zealand should introduce supervised meth inhalation facilities. Youth addiction sector worker Matt Noffs said New Zealand’s innovative approach to treating drug addiction has worked in the past and should continue. […]

Why ice rooms are an absolute necessity

Safe rooms represent a portal for health and social interventions. So safe rooms benefit people who use drugs and their families and their communities. They are not a solution to our drug problems; there is no solution. But they are part of the response intended to more effectively respond to illicit drugs. […]

Death penalty of Australian is ‘appalling’

The Human Rights Watch said it was appalled by the death penalty verdict by a Vietnam criminal court against an Australian grandmother for drug trafficking. Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director for Human Rights Watch, was highly critical of Vietnam’s policy to apply the death penalty for drug trafficking. […]

Safe Injection Rooms Would Save Lives

The idea that rooms are provided to allow people to take drugs like crystal methamphetamine needs to be taken seriously. When my son Damien died in 1997, the idea of injecting facilities and prescription heroin drew my attention but I was cautious about them. Rather than dismiss them out of hand I took it upon myself to visit Switzerland and see them functioning in Geneva and Berne. […]

UK: Prohibition doesn’t save anyone’s child

Each tragedy that swells the ranks of the Anyone’s Child campaign is preventable, and each one further evidences the fact that legalising and regulating the UK’s supply of drugs will save lives. Nobody’s child needs to provide the government with another case study. […]

The war on drugs is a losing battle

If we are genuine about reducing the harm caused by drugs we need education, regulation and health-based programs underpinned by evidence. The days of empty, chest beating calls for a war on drugs are hopefully over. […]

The hypocrisy of drug bans in a game backed by booze

Drugs, legal and illegal, are prevalent in Australian society. And over-consumption causes addiction, disfunction and death. But the illegal ones – those tested for by the NRL – are, according to experts, less harmful than the legal ones that sponsor rugby league. […]

Confronting the ‘meth monster’

The first step to solving a problem is admitting there is one. So together we must realise that the real problem is not the use of drugs, it is the fear and the subsequent belief we created that the criminal justice system is the answer. […]

Why we should de-criminalize all drugs

It’s impossible to remove the stigma of addiction while drug use remains illegal – the two concepts are completely at odds with one another. […]

How Psychedelic Drugs Could Help Treat Addiction

Another step toward mainstream medical acceptance of formerly “out-there” substances may involve turning them against other drugs. Across the US and UK, new clinical trials are using psychedelics in an attempt to treat addiction to everything from controlled substances to alcohol and cigarettes. […]

Duterte names and shames top Filipino cops for helping drug gangs

Thirty suspected drugs dealers were killed in the five days after he took office on June 30 and the death toll since his May 9 election win is far higher than that recorded in the previous four months.The drugs war has triggered alarm among human rights groups, lawyers and the clergy who say “summary executions” should stop. […]

The safe room

“Despite best efforts…, we have achieved virtually nothing,” says former AFP Commissioner Mick Palmer. “We’ve aggravated harm rather than minimised it. We’ve demonised users… The reality is, people are going to take ice. It’s time to take the risk and trial new options because, as evidence demonstrates elsewhere, it’s working.” […]

The Difference Between Being Happy and Being High

If we want a better 21st century drug policy, we need to grapple with what drug experience means and not simply assume that a drug is a drug is a drug—and that being high is always worthless and inevitably leads to unhappiness in the end. […]

Drug Policy Based On Fear Means Everyone Loses

If evidence-based drug policy is something you want to see in this country and is more important to you than public moralising, misguided beliefs and a fanciful goal of a drug free world, then this is your how-to-vote card to take with you on the 2nd of July. […]

Australia’s DMT Debate Could Reboot Psychedelic Thinking

“DMT should certainly not be in the same class as a drug like methamphetamine and heroin,” Caldecott told Australia’s SBS, an Australian national TV station. “[It’] could be argued, quite vigorously that it has potential through therapy to benefit and therefore doesn’t belong in that class.” […]

The fascinating, strange medical potential of psychedelic drugs

Psychologists and psychiatrists have been studying hallucinogens for decades — as treatment for things like alcoholism and depression. But support for studies dried up in the 1970s, after the federal government listed many psychedelics as Schedule 1 drugs. Now researchers are giving the drugs another look. […]

Can You Get Over an Addiction?

Once we understand that addiction is neither a sin nor a progressive disease, just different brain wiring, we can stop persisting in policies that don’t work, and start teaching recovery. […]

Six of the Worst Failures of the UN’s Latest World Drug Report

The UN Office on Drugs and Crime released its 2016 World Drug Report. According to the Open Society Foundations, the report “reinforces prohibitionist and law enforcement-based strategies that continue to perpetuate violence, instability, and health crises across the world.” […]

Support. Don’t Punish – Day of Action 2016

The harms being caused by the war on drugs can no longer be ignored. It is time to leave behind harmful politics, ideology and prejudice. It is time to prioritise the health and welfare of the affected populations, their families and communities. […]

Now we know what happens to teens when you make pot legal

Rates of marijuana use among Colorado’s teenagers are essentially unchanged in the years since the state’s voters legalized marijuana in 2012, new survey data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment shows. […]

Public Health Experts Urge Government to Decriminalise Drugs

The Royal Society for Public Health and the UK Faculty of Public Health, two of the UK’s most highly respected public health bodies, have called for the decriminalisation of possession of all drugs in a bold joint report, Taking A New Line On Drugs. […]

Indonesia planning executions after holiday

Indonesia plans to put 16 convicts to death after next month’s Muslim Eid holiday, an official said Tuesday, June 14, confirming executions were set to resume after a hiatus. […]

Plans to Execute 18 Drug Convicts This Year, 30 in 2017

The budget has been allocated for the death penalty. We still have 58 drug convicts on the death row list, and another 152 death row inmates for crimes such as murder, terrorism and others, said Attorney General H.M. Prasetyo. […]

Newcastle University Introduces Sensible New Drug Policy

We have seen what happens when you take this kind of approach to drug policy. Shambhala Music Festival consistently has one of the best safety rates of any festival in North America when it comes to overdose-related medical transports. […]

Why do humans have an innate desire to get high?

Banning psychedelic drugs is likely to be counterproductive. Just as banning sexual activity does not stop sexual desire, outlawing psychedelic drugs does nothing to change the innate need for transcendent experiences. […]

Banning Everything That Gets People High Is a Terrible Idea

Pleasure is not a poison, and what we need to worry about is addiction, organ damage, disease, behavioral dis-inhibition, impaired driving, and other genuine dangers. Politicians can turn their attention to ending excess joy after they solve actual problems, like inequality, poverty, and pain. […]

It’s Hillary? On Drugs, She’s Barely Better Than Trump

Our only alternative to the nightmare of Donald Trump’s drug policy is depressingly mediocre. So, drug policy reformers, here’s the bad news—no matter who gets elected, we’re headed backwards the next four-to-eight years! […]

Tasmania: testing festival drugs can stop people dying

Police Minister Rene Hidding did himself and the Tasmanian community no good at all last week with his arrogant, dangerous dismissal of a sensible idea by the Greens for pill testing to be available at music festivals. […]

A New Direction on Drugs

“We can’t arrest and incarcerate addiction out of people. Not only do I think it’s really inhumane, but it’s ineffective and it costs us billions upon billions of dollars to keep doing this.” […]

Report Accuses Mexico of Crimes Against Humanity in Drug War

The evidence is “overwhelming,” said James A. Goldston, the executive director of the New York-based Justice Initiative, which will release the report on Tuesday. “In case after case, army actors and federal police have been implicated.” […]

Can An App Detect A Heroin Overdose?

When I asked the developer, Chris Oelerich, if he thought about the counter-arguments against harm-reduction, that it “enables” drug use, he said, “If people are going to keep using heroin, then making it harder isn’t a great strategy.” […]

Secrecy For Sale

If the UN were really serious about bringing drug lords to justice and hitting them where it hurt, it could simply have resolved to end the financial secrecy that criminals use to cover their tracks and hide their money. […]

West Africa: Sustainable Development under threat from drug trafficking

There is a need to shift the objectives of drug policy away from process measures such as crop eradication statistics, arrest rates, seizures and imprisonment statistics. Governments need to explore and focus on solutions that promote public health, human rights and citizen engagement and participation. […]

Is Addiction a Learning Disorder?

For decades, the entire drug policy debate was stalled. Harm reduction was a fringe concept. Now, we have USA Today endorsing safe injection facilities and the New York Times supporting marijuana legalization. It’s increasingly difficult to find someone to quote who favors arresting and jailing users, or who opposes access to the overdose antidote naloxone on moral grounds. […]

14 US states where marijuana legalisation is on ballot

The marijuana legalization movement is in full swing this year, with 14 states currently considering ballot initiatives to legalize for either recreational or medical purposes. While 23 states already have legal marijuana systems in place, public opinion is quickly shifting in favor of cannabis reform and voters in states across the US will have the opportunity to continue the momentum in 2016. […]