New Zealand is set to hold a binding referendum on the legislation of recreational cannabis, the government has announced. The plebiscite would be held alongside the country’s next general election, in 2020, Justice Minister Andrew Little told reporters on Tuesday morning. Pro-reform campaign group New Zealand Drug Foundation welcomed the vote, with its chief Ross Bell saying the current approach to regulating marijuana was outdated and it was time for a change.
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Damon Barrett, director of the International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy, points out that the Integrated Strategy emphasizes policing, rather than public health, and doesn’t seem any different from the status quo approach to drugs in general. The strategy also seems to mirror President Donald Trump’s Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem, a document co-signed in September by 129 UN member states, that was seen as a call to revamp the global War on Drugs. […]
Policymakers can reduce overdose deaths and other harms stemming from nonmedical use of opioids and other dangerous drugs by switching to a policy of “harm reduction” strategies. Harm reduction has a success record that prohibition cannot match. It involves a range of public health options. These strategies would include medication-assisted treatment, needle-exchange programs, safe injection sites, heroin-assisted treatment, deregulation of naloxone, and the decriminalization of marijuana. […]
The people behind the ACT’s initial push to open a safe injecting room almost 20 years ago say the current proposal is well overdue. A drug strategy report released this week flagged the possibility of Canberra finally getting a supervised injecting room, almost decades after legislation was passed. […]
Ann Symonds saved lives and changed lives. She saved them by fighting, losing, then fighting again to provide safe injecting rooms for drug users at Kings Cross. She changed lives by her efforts to create homes for women escaping domestic violence or the curse of drugs, by finding legal ways to keep women out of jail and to care for the children of incarcerated women. […]
An expansion of pill testing at events in the ACT and revisiting a safe injecting room for opioid users are two of 43 measures contained in the ACT Government’s new three-year Drug Strategy Action Plan released today. The Government says harm minimisation underpins the Action Plan 2018-2021, which outlines the priorities over the next three years to tackle the harms from alcohol, tobacco and other drug use in the ACT.
The 2018 Global State of Harm Reduction is the sixth edition of this report, and the most comprehensive ever thanks to a coordinated effort of over 100 harm reduction practitioners, academics, advocates and activists from around the world. […]
Dr Caldicott also hopes to avoid further tragedy. ‘We’re at the start of a summer season, a season which we know is very dangerous in the global sense,’ he said. According to Dr Caldicott, the illicit drugs he sees now are also ‘far more dangerous than any we’ve ever had’. He believes pill testing is a vital strategy in reducing deaths and injuries at music festivals. […]
We’re at a point now where the government refuses to even consider pill testing once again as a viable way to reduce harm like it does with other dangerous substances (alcohol and cigarettes), refuses to acknowledge it’s success overseas and locally while championing the success of safe injecting rooms that is saving lives here yet continues its hard-line approach to drugs while people continue to die.
Paul Dillon said heavier policing is a common government response to public outrage over drug deaths, but it has not done much to solve the problem. ‘Drug use has not reduced at festivals or night clubs – people just take their drugs in a different way, or choose things not easily identified by drug dogs,’ he said. […]
In a fiery retort, anti-lockouts group and new political party Keep Sydney Open have argued that police’s “message” clearly isn’t working. “To the NSW Government and Police: insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly and thinking the outcome will change,” they write on Facebook. […]
It’s not just the idiocy and ill will of the Trump administration in this area as in so many others but the reluctance of even progressive state and local legislators to embrace what’s already working elsewhere. It’s not just the political weakness of those who favor drug treatment over incarceration but the persistent belief among many treatment supporters, and the public, that the only acceptable alternative to drug use, whether problematic or not, is abstinence — and that the criminal justice system is an essential partner in forcing people to abstain. […]
In selecting Dr Wodak to speak at the Vatican’s ‘Drugs and Addictions’ conference on December 1, Catholic Health Australia CEO Suzanne Greenwood said she was aware the Drug Law Reform Foundation president’s opinions might not be equally held by the global headquarters of the church. Dr Wodak used his platform to call for the regulation of drug markets, the scrapping of criminal penalties for the possession of currently illicit substances and to treat drug use as a health issue.
“The Mental Health and Addiction Inquiry has joined a chorus of other voices urging the Government to treat drugs as a health and social issue. Based on these recommendations the Government can be confident its plans to take a fresh approach to drugs is the right thing to do,” said Drug Foundation executive director Ross Bell.
Different drugs are associated with different risks, and the whole idea of regulation is to manage and reduce risk, so the regulatory tools you’d deploy are going to vary. Within stimulants there’s an enormous array of products and risks, so you’d have various models to regulate price, potency, packaging, vendors and marketing, but the principles and goals are the same.
Dr David Caldicott, the clinical lead at the ANU’s Australian Medicinal Cannabis Observatory, told The RiotACT that a bill like Pettersson’s could limit the drug’s availability to underage consumers and undermine the illicit drug market in the ACT. “From a public health perspective, there are merits to an argument of a regulated market,” Caldicott said. […]
A coalition of community groups said there was no proof mandatory treatment worked and warned it would operate at an exorbitant cost. The SA Council of Social Services, Australian Medical Association, SA Network of Drug and Alcohol Services, Uniting Communities and Guardian for Children and Young People Penny Wright all called for the Bill to be withdrawn until a proposal about how the laws would operate was finalised.
Opposition senator Risa Hontiveros, who has railed against the drug killings, said the court decision proved that extrajudicial killings under Mr Duterte’s crackdown were really being committed by rogue members of the national police force. “This is a light in the darkness,” Ms Hontiveros said in a statement. “Despite the gruesome climate of killing and impunity in the country, this verdict sends the message that there is hope and justice.
Tasmania’s innovative Dark Mofo festival has joined the debate about pill-testing at music festivals in the island state. Tasmanian festivals should be able to offer legal pill testing in order to save lives, says Dark Mofo creative director Leigh Carmichael.
Usually, problems are photosensitive. Put them to the light and they disappear. Prohibition keeps us in the dark. There’s difficulty for research, for understanding the ramifications, of getting data, of understanding why people do it. The paradigm needs to change to move beyond the failure—and drug control is a failure as it is now. […]
A major push to legalise recreational marijuana has been launched in the ACT where a young Labor pollie claims he has overwhelming support for his bill on the issue. If it gets enough support it would allow adults in the state to keep up to 50g of cannabis or four plants legally.
Mr Petterson plans to introduce a bill before the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Assembly this week so adults possessing up to 50 grams of cannabis or four cannabis plants would no longer be committing an offence. A spokeswoman for ACT Labor confirmed the party was united in support of the bill, with 12 votes in favour. […]
Greens MP Rosalie Woodruff tabled the Misuse of Drugs Amendment (Drug Analysis) Bill 2018 on Thursday to provide legal protections for services offering pill testing. “We are building on the experience and evidence from countries around the world to introduce a safe, legal framework for drug analysis in Tasmania,” Dr Woodruff told Tasmanian media.
Some countries take things further. Many have safe injection rooms, supervised by medical professionals who check the drugs for safety. In Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, addicts who repeatedly fail methadone programmes may even receive free, government-prescribed heroin. “Heroin-assisted treatment” has been shown to reduce crime and deaths. And it appears not to recruit new users: shooting up at a government facility under a nurse’s gaze is hardly glamorous. […]
A much broader approach and new treatment strategies is needed for those most harmed by austerity, increasing homelessness, inadequate mental health services and the use of novel and established drugs alike. A start would be to allow and encourage drug safety testing. More broadly, we need to reconsider – as other countries have done, with Canada legalising cannabis – the harmful effects of prohibition and the ongoing war on drugs.
“The only thing that stands in the way of the UK following the example of other European countries is the British government, who continuously state that they will not support drug consumption rooms despite the evidence and the fact they could save lives. It seems they are happy for the backstreets of our city and town centres to continue to provide such spaces.”
Despite plenty of posturing, hand-wringing and worthy words this year, little progress has been made on drug reform, as people continue to suffer and die, writes former Minister Peter Dunne. […]
Children could be walking over dead bodies on their way to school if Melbourne’s supervised injecting centre is shut down, Daniel Andrews warns. The premier and Opposition Leader Matthew Guy on Thursday came face-to-face for the second time in 12 hours for a tetchy debate on the ABC, just two days before the state election. […]
Although these groups of mothers – and other family members – are not huge in their numbers, their stories are important for changing the narrative on drug use, and help change public attitudes towards drug policy. It is crucial for policymakers to hear their stories, and for fellow campaigners to elevate and amplify the voices of some of the people most devastated by the failures of the global drug war. […]
The first casualties of the drug war are the people who use illicit substances. They’re forced to buy their drugs on the black market, where no quality control exists. This leaves them unaware of what the drugs contain, the strength of them or their potential toxicity. […]
The Greek health ministry is preparing a legislative amendment to permit the opening of drug consumption rooms in Athens, after a university’s claim that it’s overwhelmed by widespread public drug use. The drug consumption rooms (DCRs) – if approved – will provide a hygienic environment and sterile equipment for people to consume drugs with under the supervision of trained medical staff, according to Greek newspaper, I Kathimerini. […]
One of the key players in last year’s trial, Dr David Caldicott, said the festival’s move to Exhibition Park gave the consortium more hope than if it had moved to Federal land, and it would now be assessing the specific needs of the new venue. He said the proposal for next year’s trial would build on this year’s success.
Pill testing could return to Groovin the Moo when the music festival moves to its new home at Exhibition Park in Canberra next April. Following the success of an Australian-first pill testing trial at the festival in April, the consortium behind the trial has put in a suite of proposals for other Canberra events, including Groovin the Moo run by promoter Cattleyard. […]
Taking drugs is never completely safe. They all come with varying degrees of risk, which increase significantly if you ingest more than one substance at once. But if we want to curtail these overdoses, the government needs to fund pragmatic approaches like this, and sooner rather than later. Nobody needs to die when they go out dancing. […]
Although neither Sheffield University nor the Student Union condones the use of drugs on campus, their approach acknowledges how students may use drugs during their time at university. The Student Union links to harm reduction guidance, including details about needle exchanges, while also providing external guidance from The Loop – a UK charity which provides drug safety testing, welfare support, and harm reduction services at nightclubs and festivals. […]
The Greens have revealed a plan to open 18 pill-testing services across Australia at a cost of $16m, saying the policy would disrupt drug dealing networks and cut preventable deaths. The Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, a former drug and alcohol doctor, said the war on drugs had failed because 1 million Australians still used ecstasy and cocaine every year and a number of them were dying because they had no idea what they were consuming. […]
“The war on drugs is a war on people — it has destroyed thousands of lives and wasted billions of dollars,” said Greens leader Richard Di Natale, a former drug and alcohol doctor. “Instead of protecting the community it is actually placing them at greater risk of harm. Pill testing has time and time again proven to reduce rates of harm both in Australia and overseas, whereas the Coalition and Labor Party’s approach of heavy handed policing with drug dogs only creates more misery,” he added. […]
Recreational drug users would be able to pop in to a shop and test their pills under a plan by the Australian Greens. Party leader Richard Di Natale today paid a morning visit to a Melbourne nightclub to unveil plans for 18 pill-testing shopfronts, costing $16 million over four years. Six of the proposed shops would be in major cities and 12 in rural areas, with mobile facilities available for music festivals and special events. […]
As NZ Green MP Chloe Swarbrick points out, there is a certain hypocrisy in MPs who have used drugs presiding over archaic drug laws. But if the moral or health-based arguments fail to persuade them and us, perhaps the economic ones will. […]
The Green Party says it is time for politicians to start walking the talk on drug policy and decriminalise drug use so users can access health services without fear of the law. An independent report into drug policy, released today, said that a harm-reduction approach and regulated sale of legal cannabis would see up to half a billion dollars a year in social benefits and tax revenue. […]
Decriminalising drugs makes economic sense, with the cost of imprisoning a drug user at $100,000 a year, roughly twice as much as putting them in residential drug care, according to an economist. Shamubeel Eaqub from Sense Partners worked on the Drug Foundation report, which detailed three proposed models of drug policy reform[…]
An emotional Chloe Swarbrick has called on fellow MPs across the political spectrum to decriminalise drug use in New Zealand, “to see harm reduced” and “to stop unnecessary deaths”. “I am calling on MPs across this house in all parties today to support sensible drug regulation that stops harm and prevents unnecessary deaths. […]
Ross Bell, executive director of the Drug Foundation launched a report on what it would look like if New Zealand moved to a “health-approach” to drugs, rather than a criminal. “We’ve proved ourselves ill-equipped to deal with public health emergencies when it comes to drugs. We’ve seen it most recently with the dreadful deaths from synthetic cannabinoids,” he said today.[…]
Yes, illegal drugs are dangerous. It would be irresponsible to simply legalise them. The International Commission on Drug Policy, which is chaired by Ruth Dreyfuss, the former Swiss president, recommends regulation instead. The Commission’s proposals deserve attention. We lack a better alternative. The experience Europe and North America have with alcohol shows that regulation is the best way to reduce harm because prohibition does not do the job. […]
A NSW coroner has likened the effects of drug prohibition to state sanctioned racism, saying future generations would look back at current laws on illicit substances with incredulity. […]
So how is Portugal’s approach working? Goulao said cannabis use is still fairly widespread, but heroin, cocaine and crack cocaine use have lessened. He said the country has very little problem with meth or Fentanyl. […]
STA-SAFE spokesman Dr David Caldicott said while it was a disappointing outcome, he understood the ACT government was still interested in future trials, and hoped it could also consider other off-site testing options, not necessarily linked to specific festivals. […]
Global attitudes on narcotic drugs are changing, but the shift has come too late for those caught up in Asia’s past decade of misguided and often lethal anti-drug campaigns. […]
A Victorian state MP is throwing a rave party to gather support for pill testing at music festivals and gigs. Fiona Patten’s Reason Party wants to install drug checking facilities at music festivals and other events as part of its drug policy it claims is “founded on early treatment and harm reduction”. […]
Dr Wodak, who was director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney for 30 years, discussed the effect of cracking down on the supply of only some drugs. “We’re dealing with a political problem, not a public health problem.” He called for heroin testing to be made available in clinics in “Dubbo, Wilcannia, Grafton” and around Australia so people from rural and remote areas didn’t have to travel hours to Sydney to see if their heroin was laced with fentanyl. […]
“Drug law enforcement has a poor record. It’s usually ineffective, often counterproductive and always expensive. In contrast, harm reduction is just the opposite,” Dr Wodak continued. “So, pill testing has a much better chance of saving lives and money.” These days, the majority of Australians support the roll out of pill testing services at music festivals. […]
Significant questions have also been raised about the effectiveness of the new measures to reduce drug-related harm. ‘Given that most evidence suggests that heavy-handed policing doesn’t deter dealers or drug users, it’s unlikely it’ll have the impact they’re hoping,’ managing director of Music NSW Emily Collins said. ‘Experts in this field say that a health-focused approach has the best impact on the safety of festival-goers, and not just drug safety, but general safety. […]
The president of the campaigning group, Bill Bush, said he welcomed the minister’s assertion that he had an open mind about reform. Mr Bush said one problem was that teenagers tried drugs as a matter of experimentation with forbidden fruit and then found themselves within the criminal system. Once in, it was hard to get out. […]
Harm Reduction Australia have spoken out in reaction to the Berejiklian government’s decision to introduce harsher laws for drugs at festivals. […]
The next time someone dies at a music festival and their family asks why and whether pill testing could have made a difference I guess the answer in NSW is – sorry, we don’t talk about that here. […]
An ACT government spokeswoman said while the territory would examine any available data from NSW about the effectiveness of these laws, its approach would be guided by evidence about how to minimise the harm from drugs. “We are disappointed that the response of the NSW government in no way seeks to minimise the harm of dangerous drugs. […]
Of the former law, Berejiklian speculated that the punishment for dealers who fall afoul of the new offence – on the off chance they’re proven guilty – would be punished with the same severity as manslaughter or grievous bodily harm; charges that currently carry prison terms of anywhere between 10 and 25 years’ jail in New South Wales. […]
Western Australia could be on the verge of abandoning its decades-old “tough on drugs” attitude to illicit substance addiction after both sides of parliament backed a plan to examine the decriminalisation of drugs. A high-powered parliamentary committee, to be chaired by Greens MP Alison Xamon with representatives from the Labor, Liberal and National parties, will look at “alternate approaches to reducing illicit drug use”. […]
Canada may stumble along the way, but there are potential upsides, among them more effective education about all substances; larger and faster clinical trials of its medicinal properties; and less use of alcohol. Legal cannabis may lose its rebellious cachet and experimental allure among kids. Bringing an underground economy to the surface starves criminals of a lucrative and untaxed black market. […]
The lost decade in the global war on drugs – New report shows 10-year United Nations drug strategy set to conclude in colossal failure
Vienna, 22 October 2018 – A report released today by the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) has exposed the United Nations 10-year global strategy aimed to eradicate the illegal drug market by 2019 as a spectacular failure of policy and urged a re-think of its new strategy for the next decade. […]
Canada has legalised cannabis. And I’m not interested in celebrating. I’m interested in preparing — preparing for cannabis legalisation by ensuring we have the best health and safety measures in place before it hits our shores. […]
Canada has become the second country after Uruguay to legalise possession and use of recreational cannabis. Medical marijuana has been legal in the country since 2001. […]
“If we could just start treating drugs as a health problem not a criminal problem it’s just blindingly obvious that you’re going to start getting on top of the problem,” Sir Richard said. “If it can work in Portugal it can work in pretty much any country in the world.” […]
Health Minister David Clark said the coalition Government was dealing with drug use as a health and harm reduction issue. “In light of this, I’ve had initial discussions with the Justice Minister about ‘drug checking’ services. “Through him, I’ve asked for advice on the legislative and criminal justice issues around such services.”[…]
On Friday, 12 October, Sir Richard Branson will officially launch a new Uniting Church campaign, calling on governments to reform Australia’s drug legislation to reflect a harm minimisation approach. The grassroots campaign calls for the decriminalisation of small amounts of currently illegal substances for personal use. The call has been spearheaded by the NSW and ACT Synod of the Uniting Church and Uniting. […]
Senator David Leyonhjelm attended the Uniting Church’s drug summit in Sydney today, reinforcing the Liberal Democrats’ longstanding policy of decriminalising recreational drug use in Australia. “I believe we have reached a level of maturity in this country where we can move beyond policies based on fear or disapproval and embrace an evidence-based medical and harm-minimisation strategy, as sophisticated societies have done elsewhere,” Senator Leyonhjelm said. […]
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson will today declare the war on drugs has failed, urging Australia to return to its pioneering role in drug treatment that began with the medically supervised injecting centre in Sydney’s Kings Cross. “We live in a drug-taking world. We cannot change that, and we need to be sensible and pragmatic about how we respond,” Sir Richard writes in The Australian today. […]
Virgin Group founder Richard Branson will today declare the war on drugs has failed, urging Australia to return to its pioneering role in drug treatment that began with the medically supervised injecting centre in Sydney’s Kings Cross. The billionaire who founded the Virgin Group will address the Uniting Fair Treatment campaign at Sydney’s Town Hall today as the federal government signals it will push harder on an illicit drug crackdown. […]
In order to save lives, we need safer consumption spaces (or better yet, call them “overdose prevention sites”) in areas where drug use and sales are concentrated; syringe exchange programs scaled to meet demand; and increased access to supplies like fentanyl-checking test strips. […]
The sky “did not fall in” after a decision to decriminalise drugs for personal use in Portugal, according to the vice-president of the health commission that deals with the issue in Lisbon. On Monday, a report from the Ana Liffey drug project recommended that Ireland decriminalise drugs in quantities for personal use. […]
Mr Rattenbury said he was not trying to “capitalise on the misfortune” of the Defqon deaths “We should seek to embrace an event like this for the opportunities it would bring to Canberra but also be really conscious of the risks that are involved in it and work as earnestly and as diligently as we can to minimise those risks,” Mr Rattenbury said. […]
Illegal drugs should be decriminalised, delegates at the Plaid Cymru conference have said. Party members called the war on drugs an “unmitigated failure” and said criminalising those with an addiction does “nothing to help them turn their lives around”. Activists voted for decriminalisation to become party policy on Friday. […]
HRA welcomes our colleagues from across the world as new signatories to the Charter – including important organisations in Australia such as Family Drug Support and the ACT Greens.
Hundreds of angry Canberrans are expected to turn out at a weekend rally to demand the federal government reconsider its opposition to pill testing, as organisers label off-site drug-checking a “half-measure”. Reason ACT and the Smashed Avocado Movement are coordinating the Garema Place rally, which will urge governments across Australia to roll out pill testing as a harm reduction measure. […]
The NSW and ACT synods of the Uniting Church and its service arm, Uniting, are spearheading the call to have illegal substances decriminalised for personal use in a movement backed by 60 organisations, including the Law Society of NSW, the NSW Bar Association, and the NSW branch of the Health Services Union. […]
The upcoming NSW election will be a really important platform for people young and old who enjoy music festivals, who enjoy going out, who work in the industry or associated industries to make sure their voices are heard. And make sure every party and independents knows that they’re going to be held accountable for the policies they come up with the impact those policies have on the industry. […]
The Fair Treatment campaign, led by Uniting NSW and ACT, will be launched in part by entrepreneur and global drug reform advocate Richard Branson in Sydney on 12 October. “Meaningful drug policy reform, for the fair treatment of all people, will only come through a courageous movement of people intent on forging a new path for people affected by drug policy,” Taylor said. […]
After a strong stance against pill testing at music festivals, the New Zealand government might have softened up in time for this summer’s events. Health minister David Clark revealed to the weekend’s Herald on Sunday, “This government is dealing with drug use as a health and harm reduction issue. “In light of this, I’ve had initial discussions with the Justice minister about drug checking services. […]
There is still a long road ahead before drugs, starting with the less harmful ones, are legally regulated. Implementation will have to be incremental, careful, and continuously and independently evaluated. Yet it is time to begin the journey towards new policies that will bring together in a coherent manner, responsible management of drug related risks by governments and better individual and public health. […]
Pill testing could be expanded beyond festival-goers in the ACT and offered every Friday and Saturday night in Civic, ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury has proposed. […]
The Greens are continuing their attack on the police’s drug dog program, as the party takes its ‘Sniff Off’ campaign to this weekend’s Yours and Owls music festival. […]
This new report provides a practical roadmap that tackles the real implications and recognizes the difficulties of transitioning from illegal to legally regulated drug markets. It offers concrete answers regarding the organizational capacity of state institutions to regulate and control a legal market of potentially dangerous products. It highlights the challenges facing impoverished populations that constitute the “working class” of the illegal drug markets. […]
The world need not leave global drug policy to the tender mercies of Donald Trump. In fact, it would be better off listening to one of the men who will address the Monday meeting: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres. As president of Portugal, Guterres oversaw that country’s groundbreaking decriminalization of drug use and possession in 2001. […]
The NCA’s willingness to potentially endanger the health and well-being of the community it supposedly serves is a betrayal of trust. The federal government’s complicity in allowing such a decision to stand, without evening engaging the medical and health professionals providing the pill-testing service, speaks to the lack of due diligence, perhaps even cowardice, in the decision-making process. […]
Palmer has come out firing at the government and Premier in particular saying “My mind boggles at the thought that a government is not even prepared to start a trial of pill testing. Clearly she and other state premiers opposing the idea do not have the courage to say what we’ve got now is not working.” […]
Representatives from the music industry, policing, and drug and harm minimisation experts were present at the talks to discuss how to keep people safe at festivals. […]
“Harm minimisation is dealt with as a law enforcement issue in this country and state, whereas when you look overseas it’s dealt with as a health issue, so that is where the conversation needs to go,” Mothership Event’s Justin Nyker said. […]
An Australian-first pill testing trial took place at the Canberra leg of Groovin The Moo in April, with the program’s final report deeming the trial an “overwhelming success”. In August, a $100,000 fundraiser was also launched to help support the roll out of pill testing programs at more Australian music festivals, following the successful Groovin The Moo trial. […]
“President Trump is the last person who should be defining the global debate on drug policy,” says one expert. “Trump has shown complete disdain for human rights and international law.” […]
Telling young people not to take drugs isn’t working. That’s according to the head of a national drug services organisation and a former Australian Federal Police commissioner. Instead, the nation should focus on reducing the harm caused by drugs, including offering pill testing at music festivals, the duo say. […]
Will a strategic approach of harm minimisation absolutely stop the number of deaths from drug consumption? No. Might it reduce the number of deaths? Yes. Isn’t that enough of a reason to try a different approach to drug use? No doubt the Canberra pill-trial wasn’t perfect. But it demonstrated a willingness to admit prohibition is a failure. […]
On behalf of the STA-SAFE Consortium and our colleagues in New Zealand – we are please to release the Trans-Tasman Charter for Pill Testing.
We are also encouraging organisations and individuals that support the principles outlined in this charter contacting Harm Reduction Australia to be listed as signatory.
What if the media covered alcohol like it does other drugs? This was a question that came up in my coverage of flakka, a synthetic drug that made headlines after law enforcement blamed it for people running in the streets naked in delusional paranoia. What follows is a satirical attempt at capturing that same type of alarmist reporting, but for a substance that really causes widespread and severe problems. […]
Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation president Dr Alex Wodak said additional police resources at music festival were doing more harm than good. “There were 120 police and 20 detectives at Defqon.1,” Dr Wodak said. “We have to recognise that relying heavily on law enforcement has been incredibly unsuccessful. “It is irresponsible of governments not to consider pill testing. […]
Two people died at Defqon.1 festival in Sydney over the weekend. Three others are in critical condition, and another 700 had to seek medical assistance during the festival. This has to stop, and it won’t stop through zero tolerance. […]
“A decriminalisation approach coupled with investment in harm reduction and treatment services can have a positive impact on both individual drug users and society as a whole. The Uniting Church in NSW and ACT is taking a leadership role in this important campaign, we are encouraging everyone to show their support for the need for a major change to national drug policy.” […]
The test, despite claims from politicians, does not give a rating on how safe the drug is. It simply allows people, who are already planning to consume a drug anyway, to know what they are about to put in their mouth. Caldicott said this information often led to people discarding their drugs, as evidenced by long-running programs in Europe and his own Canberra trial. […]