The prohibition of illicit drugs is killing and criminalising our children and we are all letting it happen , says Australia 21
- Last Updated: Monday, 01 May 2017 09:05
- Published: Tuesday, 03 April 2012 12:19
- Written by Australia 21
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"Every year some 400 Australians die from illicit drug usage. Thousands of others suffer the short and long-term health consequences of drug dependence, unsafe injecting practices and infections. Their families suffer with them from these consequences. Discussion of drug policy in recent years has been largely absent from the Australian political agenda except as an excuse for being tough on law and order......"
"A substantial proportion of Australia’s street and household crime is a direct consequence of the trade in illicit drugs and the need for dependent users to find money to acquire drugs. Large numbers of young people who experiment with these drugs are criminalised by the enforcement of prohibition laws – even though those thus criminalised are only a minority of the huge numbers of experimenters. The current policy of prohibition discredits the law, which cannot possibly stop a growing trade that positively thrives on its illegality and black market status. Our prisons are crowded with people whose lives have been ruined by dependence on these drugs. Like the failure of the prohibition of alcohol in the USA from 1920 to 1933, the current prohibition of illegal drugs is creating more harms than benefits and needs to be reconsidered by the Australian community. Many other countries are starting to review this area. A decade ago, and with excellent results, Portugal decriminalised the possession of small quantities of all illicit drugs consistent with personal consumption. A number of other countries have adopted versions of this approach. In December 2011, the current Presidents of 12 Central and South American countries called for the use of ‘market mechanisms’ in response to illegal drugs. In a 2011 US Gallup poll, 50% supported the legalisation of marijuana with 46% opposed."