12.2 C
Byron Shire
April 21, 2021

Editorial: Pill testing not enough

Latest News

Byron Drag Racers World Record

The local AAA Racing motorcycle team have set a new world record in 100cc class, as well as a top national speed in 50cc class at the recent Australian Speed Week held at Salt Lake Gairdner, South Australia.

Other News

ALP puts war power reform on the agenda

The Australian Labor Party will hold a public inquiry into how Australia goes to war if elected to government next year.

Affordable myth

Patricia Warren, Brunswick Heads There is a ‘myth of affordable housing’ in Byron Shire. Well may councillors lament the lack of ‘affordable...

Upgrades for Lighthouse Parade in Ballina

One of the showcase areas of Ballina is about to get a safety and aesthetic upgrade, with the Lighthouse Parade Pedestrian Precinct and Road Safety Project commencing soon.

Housing crisis and Council

Avital Sheffer, Mullumbimby Population growth in this Shire is inevitable like it or not. Those who are being pushed out by...

Byron Shire celebrates seniors during festival week

An action-packed program has been planned for the 2021 Byron Shire Seniors Festival with drumming, dancing, walking, yoga and laughing on the program.

Remembering Peter Warner

Ballina's legendary man of the sea Peter Warner died doing what he loved best, sailing, during an attempted crossing of the Ballina Bar in rough conditions last week. He was ninety years old.

Aslan Shand, acting editor

Governments around the world are out of step with advice from experts on how to tackle illegal and recreational drug use. From the police to border control and health experts, the call has been going out long, loud, and clear: drug policy needs to be rethought. The ‘hard on drugs’ approach isn’t working.

The recent report commissioned by the Western Australian government asked experts from across the fields of science, medicine, and policing for recommendations on how to deal with the WA drug crisis. Yet once again the Labor government rejected the report’s call for a major rethink on drug policy, according to the ABC.

The report stated, ‘There needs to be a comprehensive public consideration of the ways we treat currently illegal drugs in our community, which recognises the limitations of criminalisation and imprisonment of drug users and considers alternative non-prohibition models’.

Most have tried drugs

The reality is that the majority of people have tried, or know someone who has tried, an illegal substance at some point in their lives. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, almost half of senior high-school students have taken an illegal drug.

For the majority of people who have tried or continue to take illegal substances, this is not a problem. For most, a toke on a joint, a line of coke, or a little bit of MDMA isn’t an issue – they still have highly functional lives and continue to contribute to society.

In fact they are your politicians, doctors, lawyers, police, financial advisers, local business owners, and the myriad of other people you interact with and trust on a day-to-day basis. And there’s no reason that your trust in them should change; they are not about to do anything that will damage you or your relationship with them. They are not drug addicts. After all, not everyone who drinks is an alcoholic.

Addiction can come in many forms, from sex and gambling to drugs and more. Let’s call on our politicians to stop pandering to the imaginary majority, as they did when they had a referendum on abortion in Ireland and gay marriage here in Australia. Let’s call for both our drug-taking and non-drug-taking politicians to make all drugs legal and safe to use.

The benefit of this shift in mindset on drugs will bring a multi-billion-dollar industry within government control. This will save lives, not only by eliminating contaminated drugs, but also by undermining the role of violent, lawless drug cartels. It will ensure we can shift drug policy out of the sphere of law enforcement and into health, so that people with a drug addiction can get the help they need when they need it.

As Tom Lloyd, former chief constable of Cambridgeshire police and international drugs policy adviser, told the British Home Affairs select committee drug conference in 2015: ‘If you don’t have a drug problem then the last thing you need is a conviction; if you do have a drug problem then the last thing you need is a conviction.’

News tips are welcome: [email protected]


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

3 COMMENTS

  1. The ‘hard on drugs’ approach is working extremely well if you are a beneficiary of the 3rd largest industry on the planet; illicit drugs. If the aim is a reduction of availability then it’s a massive fail. No matter how big the busts they claim there is never a shortage of supply. Research suggests less than 2% of all trafficked drugs are ever seized.
    Prohibition is a massively remunerative fraud.

  2. it’s instructive to see how prohibition turned out in the US (1920/33). When it finally came to an end more people were drinking alcohol than when it started, and organised crime had become a huge industry which had corrupted the police force. History is repeating itself!

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Your Local Club Academy Games

The North Coast Academy of Sport prepared its largest squad ever to compete at the 2021 Your Local Club Academy Games, held in the Hunter region last weekend.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 21 April, 2021

Check out entertainment listings for the week, with music, dance, cinema and all sorts events happening in and around the Byron Shire

Interview with Toni Childs

Internationally celebrated musician, Emmy winner and three times Grammy nominee Toni Childs is bringing her show to The Brunswick Picture House. With two acts, Childs is promising a special two hour performance as she celebrates her vast catalogue of music, which also saw her celebrate the 30th anniversary of her critically acclaimed album Union in 2019.

Jungle juice

There are times when water just doesn’t cut it. And luckily, for those times, there is Jungle Juice.