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 dangerous. They’re punitive, they’re causing harm and they’re killing people. They’re also outdated and we know they don’t work, yet the old parties are committed to upholding them.
Drugs will always be in our community. It’s our responsibility to recognise this reality and work to reduce the harm they cause.
The Greens have a plan to reform drug laws in line with the reality of drug use in our community. We will adopt a health-based approach to drug use by legalising and regulating cannabis; introducing pill testing; expanding safe injecting rooms; funding drug and alcohol treatment; and fully funding opioid agonist therapy. Our plan will minimise harm, save lives and save money.
Addressing the issue of drugs within a health and social framework is long overdue. The Greens are the only party with progressive, evidence-based and realistic policies to treat drug use as the health issue it actually is – not the criminal issue we’ve been led to believe it is.
Our drug laws are broken and outdated. Let’s fix them.
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Every day, countless people in Australia choose to consume party drugs. We need to address this reality and allow them to make an informed choice about what they’re taking. We know pill testing works, and we’re committed to making it the norm both at music festivals and in the community.
The prohibition model on cannabis has failed. Millions of people use cannabis every year, buying products of unknown quality and strength in an unregulated system. Our plan meets the community where it is by regulating, taxing and legalising cannabis for adults in Australia.
Safe injecting sites save lives, minimise injury, and provide people with a path to healthcare and social services they may not otherwise have. We’ve seen the success of these facilities in Sydney and Melbourne, and we will invest to establish one in each capital city.
Opioid agonist therapy (such as methadone) is highly effective in supporting people to recover from problematic opioid use – but at a cost of thousands of dollars a year it’s inaccessible to many. We have a plan to remove the financial barriers so everyone can access these life-saving therapies if they need them.
If five decades of ‘war on drugs’ failure have demonstrated anything, it’s that we cannot arrest our way out of this issue. Generations of stigma have pushed drug use underground, demonising, criminalising and endangering people who choose to use them.
Many of the policies and structures the two major parties have put in place to address this issue are actually making it worse. We need a new approach.
As a society, we need to move away from our punitive, ineffective law and order approach and towards the successful harm minimisation models of countries like Portugal and Uruguay. We know these approaches work. We already have the way – we just need the will.
The Greens are the only party to acknowledge that the personal use of illegal drugs should not fall within the criminal framework. Our evidence-based approach meets the reality that many people in our community use drugs, and will create better outcomes for everyone.