Government Move on Drugs is a Game-Changer: Greens
Breaking news that the NSW Government will move away from its heavy-handed approach to personal drug use and towards a warning and fines based system for people caught with a personal quantity of illegal drugs is a game-changer, according to the Greens.
As reported by Channel 7 news, the Government’s proposed “three chance policy” would see those caught with personal quantities of illicit drugs initially given a warning, issued a fine on the 2nd and 3rd instance with criminal penalties reserved for those caught 4 times or more.
“This is a game changer and the beginning of drug use being treated as a health issue rather than a criminal one here in NSW,” said Cate Faehrmann Greens MP and Drug Law Reform Spokesperson.
“Young people have been harassed for too long in NSW for simply doing something that almost half of us have done in our lifetimes, and that is use an illegal drug. With one in six Australian adults having used an illicit drug in the past year, it’s clear that the war on drugs has failed.
“Across the world we are seeing the dominoes fall. All eight drug law reform ballots in the recent United States election passed, including full decriminalisation in Oregon.
“Along with these changes, it’s important that resources spent on policing are now diverted to drug rehabilitation and harm reduction services,” said Ms Faehrmann.
“This is a victory for common sense, a win for young people who don’t want to be monstered just for being young and ultimately a win for police who can divert these resources to fighting serious crime,” said David Shoebridge Greens MP and Justice Spokesperson
“These are modest changes, far from full decriminalisation, but if they do become law they will reduce unnecessary and aggressive policing of minor drug offences.
“This will not end the government’s unwinnable war on drugs but it will lead to an important rebalancing of powers between police and civil rights,” Mr Shoebridge said.