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Byron Shire
March 2, 2021

HEMP party applauds MPs’ drug move

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The Nimbin-based HEMP Party (Australia) has welcomed a move by three federal MPS to look at reforming drug laws. Independent Rob Oakeshott, Liberals Mal Washer and Greens Di Natale have called on the federal government to ask the Productivity Commission to assess the cost-effectiveness of the ‘total prohibition’ approach to drug use and to make recommendations regarding alternatives.

Senator Di Natale was quoted in The Age as saying ‘I’ve lost count of how many MPs have told me privately we have to change the approach to drugs but won’t speak out.’

HEMP president Michael Balderstone said, ‘That two doctors who are also federal politicians, such as the Liberal Mal Washer and the Greens senator Di Natale, might call for an end to the futile war on drugs is unsurprising really. Virtually every doctor on the planet knows that the idea of trying to stop people taking drugs using criminal sanctions does not work.

‘The “war on drugs” is now a subject that the Gillard government can’t ignore any longer. Prohibition magnifies crime and it’s time she realised it.

‘In June 2011 a Global Commission Drug Policy group that included the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, as well as a whole bunch of former heads of state and experts on drug policy, declared that the 40 year “War on Drugs” has failed.

‘Then in April this year the Australia21 think tank released a report saying all the same things. So it’s terrific that some Australian politicians are at last starting to take the issue seriously.

‘Perhaps now a few more of our politicians will admit to inhaling as well. Lets bring some honesty and integrity back to politics. The public is sure hungry for it.

‘A Drug Summit in Canberra along the lines of Bob Carr’s 1999 Sydney summit is a good way to start.’

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