The current approach to reducing the harm that illicit drugs cause in our community is not working. And right now, many of the things we are doing to address this issue are making the current crisis worse rather than better.
For too long, the politics has ignored the research and has left harm reduction approaches under resourced, restricting us from undertaking innovative trials, putting lives at risk. Investing in harm reduction will provide the resources to expertly examine harm reduction approaches to provide a strong evidentiary base for the best policy and practice decisions.
The Greens recognise that when we treat personal drug use as a criminal issue, we use vital resources to punish the individual user rather than focussing on illicit drug manufacturers and distributors who are the real criminals. We are also distracted from the opportunities to reduce drug users’ exposure to harm,and often avoidable deaths.
The Greens will:
- Stay tough on drug dealers and drug traffickers.
- Call for the decriminalisation of personal possession – those found in possession of illicit drugs will be directed towards health care, rather than the criminal justice system.
- Call for the establishment an evidence based pill testing system to reduce the harm drugs cause and provide information to drug users on the content of illegal drugs to allow them to make more informed choices.
- Prioritise investment in treatment, support and harm reduction measures that assist in building an evidence base for wider implementation of effective strategies.
- Explore and review global harm reduction initiatives to keep up with international best practice, and restore our reputation as a leader in innovation in drug policy.
- Ensure initiatives are evaluated and have safety controls and ethical approvals.
- Call for the Initiation of a Royal Commission into how we address the issue of drug crime, why the current “war on drugs” is failing, the importance of addressing stigma and discrimination in order to ensure people receive the services they need to make positive changes and the importance of justice reinvestment programs to maximise the efficient use of resources.