As the NSW Greens’ drugs and harm minimisation spokesperson, I will in the coming days embark on a self-funded fact-finding trip to the United States, in part to meet with leading drug law reform experts, advocates and campaigners.
Numerous states in the US, both progressive and conservative, have been leading drug law reform efforts for some years now. Some have even regulated the use of cannabis.
They have framed policy not to treat drug users as criminals, but rather to look at the issue from health and social perspectives, in order to reduce harm and save lives.
Some American jurisdictions allow pill-testing at music festivals and concerts, so I will be investigating the successes and processes involved with those programs.
There is a real mood for change in Australia now, and it’s imperative we look at where reform efforts are happening around the world to determine the best way forward at home.
I look forward to meeting with representatives from established groups such as the Drug Policy Alliance, and also activists and campaigners on the ground about their work.
I will also meet with relevant groups and individuals in California and Oregon.
Dr Mehreen Faruqi, Greens NSW MP