A NEW APPROACH

For more than half a century, governments have aggressively pursued a disastrous “war on drugs” policy that criminalises a health problem and has only succeeded in making things worse.

These policies are causing harm and are killing young people. It’s time for a complete re-think. But the old parties don’t have the courage to take this issue on.

The Greens are leading a new, realistic and evidence-based approach to drug policy, one that reflects the reality of people’s’ choices to use drugs in Australia. In particular, we will be supporting more pill testing and the removal of sniffer dogs at music festivals and in our clubs, and regulating cannabis for adult use.

The Greens’ drug policy revolution will restore this country’s reputation as a leader in innovative drug policy by treating drug use as the health issue that it is, rather than the criminal issue other parties think it is. Only The Greens care about having an honest conversation about drugs to minimise harm and save lives.

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ACCESSIBLE PILL TESTING

Way too often, we hear terrible stories of hospitalisation and overdose death of young people at music festivals. These tragedies must stop. The Greens believe one pill tested means many lives saved — our policy calls for the removal of barriers to sensible trials, like lab-grade pill testing at music festivals.

NO DRUG SNIFFER DOGS AT FESTIVALS

The use of sniffer dogs at music festivals demonstrates how out of touch government policy does far more harm than good. We call for no more sniffer dog use at festivals and the redirection of resources into more effective strategies as part of our new drug policy.

SAFE INJECTING FACILITIES

Sydney’s Medically Supervised Injecting Centre has demonstrated for years that safe injecting facilities save lives, minimise injuries and provide a path into health care and social services for vulnerable people. The Greens will fund more injecting facilities in areas which demonstrate the greatest need for support.

MORE HELP WHEN YOU NEED IT

People with drug dependence are some of the most vulnerable in our community. We see drug use as the health issue that it is, not the criminal issue the other parties think it is, and this new approach to drug policy will focus on making treatment accessible whenever it is sought. Only by changing focus will we minimise harm and save lives.

If five decades of “war on drugs” failure have demonstrated anything, it’s that we cannot arrest our way out of this issue. After generations of stigmatisation and underground use, we need a new approach.

Our drug reform policy calls for the need to change our dysfunctional law and order approach and move towards the successful harm minimisation models of overseas countries like Portugal and Uruguay.

The current approach to reducing the harm that illicit drugs cause in our community is not working. And right now, many of the things we are doing to address this issue are making it worse rather than better.

The Greens recognise that when we treat personal drug use as a criminal issue, we use vital resources to punish the individual rather than focusing on illicit drug manufacturers and distributors who are the real criminals. We are also distracted from the opportunities to reduce drug users’ exposure to harm and often, avoidable deaths.

The Greens will restore Australia’s reputation as a leader on innovative drug policy through the establishment of a Harm Reduction Innovation Fund.

By investing in harm reduction, we create better health outcomes for drug users and for our communities as a whole.

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