There has been a lot of debate about the issue of drugs and pill testing in recent months with many believing that the laws should be changed.
Greens MP and Drug Law Reform and Harm Reduction spokesperson Cate Faehrmann says she is launching a new campaign for drug law reform in NSW. The campaign has four demands: allowing pill testing services at mobile and fixed sites; regulating and taxing cannabis; decriminalising the personal use/possession of all drugs, and; replacing the current Roadside Drug Testing Scheme to testing for impairment.
Ms Faehrmann says that politicians should have the courage to admit that our drug laws aren’t working.
‘Our drug laws are a colossal failure, costing lives and wasting hundreds of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ money each year,’ she said.
‘I know the Premier likes to think that “just say no” when it comes to drugs works, but it doesn’t, and it never will. So it’s up to decision-makers to put in place measures to reduce any harm associated with taking illegal drugs.’
Ms Faehrmann says it’s time we all fessed up about the nature and extent of illegal drug use in NSW. ‘Heavy-handed policing is not going to keep young people at music festivals safe this summer,’ she said. ‘Pill testing works and it’s time the Premier had the courage to acknowledge that. If she won’t act before this summer, then I’ll be asking the Parliament to support the Greens bill to trial pill-testing in NSW.
‘A growing number of experts, including former police commissioners and state premiers, agree that the single most effective way to reduce harm from illegal drugs is to stop treating drug use as a crime.
‘That’s why the Greens will introduce a bill to decriminalise all drugs and treat drug use as a health issue, not a criminal one.’
Ms Faehrmann, who recently undertook a self-funded tour to Portugal to study its groundbreaking drug laws, will host drug law reform community forums in Mullumimby and Lismore. She will discuss her findings as well as talk about truth-telling, drug decriminalisation, legalising cannabis, and pill testing in NSW which she says is all part of the Greens Rethink, Reform campaign.
‘Governments around the world are looking into, or have already legalised cannabis, including Canada, Uruguay and many US states, and New Zealand is holding a referendum on the issue next year. There is growing acknowledgment that nearly all of the harm associated with cannabis use is because it is illegal.’
Ms Faehrmann says she will be introducing legislation to tax and regulate cannabis. ‘This will provide the framework for a cannabis industry in NSW and legalise its use,’ she said.
Local drug forums
The forums are free and will be held in Lismore this Thursday, October 10 from 6pm till 8pm at the Lismore City Bowling Club, and Mullumbimby this Friday, from 6.30pm till 8.30pm at the Mullumbimby Civic Hall. For more information visit: www.catefaehrmann.org.