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Byron Shire
March 5, 2024

Addicted to prohibition

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Julia says that decriminalising illegal drugs, suggested in the Australia 21 report, is not the answer. One wonders if she has read the report, which suggests that the only people benefitting from the drug laws are those in league with organised crime and those corrupted by it. Julia thinks that allowing organised crime to continue to make millions is the answer.

This is the problem with many politicians at the moment. It doesn’t seem that they read any of the scientific information, research or reports they’ve requested. They’re just not interested in finding out anything that doesn’t back the stance they’ve already taken. The Australia 21 report shows how the drug laws cause harm, suffering and death in our community.

The Australia 21 report says that by maintaining prohibition and suppressing or avoiding debate about its costs and benefits, it can be argued justifiably that our governments and other community leaders are standing idly by while our children are killed and criminalised. Apparently there are 400 unnecessary deaths every year because of the lack of regulation of illegal drugs. People are actually dying because of the belief that punishing people for self-medicating with drugs will make them stop doing it. For how many years do people have to say this isn’t working before these politicians can hear it?

This report is very clear about the need for change and yet it’s ignored, changing anything is not the answer. Your answer, Julia and Tony, is that people should continue to be discriminated against and have their lives destroyed by being criminalised for marijuana. That is the main impact of the drug laws – otherwise harmless people suffering criminal convictions for marijuana. Young people and Aboriginal people suffer the most convictions.

It is time that our politicians, the Julias and the Tonys, started reading the reports and scientific studies about important issues so they can make progressive and constructive decisions. The Greens are the only party that takes a rational, evidence-based approach to the subject of illegal drugs. It’s time for a change.

Beth Shelley, Booerie Creek


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