It’s time for heavy-handed police tactics like strip searching to be consigned to history and all drugs decriminalised for personal use, says Greens MP and drug law reform spokesperson Cate Faehrmann.
A report released today by Redfern Legal Centre and the University of NSW shows 91 percent of strip searches are carried out on suspicion of drug possession, while just 27 percent find any illicit substance.
“Strip searches are an incredibly distressing experience. Police get it wrong more often than not, with the majority of people being strip searched not even found to be in possession of any illicit substance,” said Greens MP and drug law reform spokesperson Cate Faehrmann.
“Strip searches unfairly target younger people going out or using public transport, while the evidence is clear that most illegal drug consumption takes place in the privacy of people’s homes.
“This harassment of people who are posing no harm to others is a huge drain on police resources and it’s not stopping people using drugs.
“A huge number of people choose to use drugs recreationally, regardless of whether they are legal or not. That’s never going to change regardless of how hard the police clamp down.
“It’s time we decriminalised personal drug use. This means that a person found in possession of a small amount of drugs is not charged or sent to court. They are given counselling or treatment if they need it.
“Decriminalising drugs would free up a huge amount of police and court resources saving millions of dollars each year, which could be diverted into alcohol and other drug harm reduction services,” said Ms Faehrmann.
Contact: Ben Cronly, 0487 247 960