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We need a new approach when it comes to cocaine: Greens

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Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
12 June 2024

With the use and supply of cocaine higher than ever before, and drug cartels richer than ever before, it’s time to admit the war on drugs has failed and that a new approach is needed, says NSW Greens MP and drug law reform and harm reduction spokesperson Cate Faehrmann.

The Cocaine Inc. podcast released this week has started a national conversation about the drug. Ms Faehrmann has long been an advocate of reforming drug laws to reduce harm and in August last year wrote an opinion piece urging governments to consider reforming drug laws including regulating drugs like cocaine to give gang lords what they fear most: Centrelink.

“The zero-tolerance approach to drug use continues to be an abject failure, costing taxpayers many billions of dollars and wasting an extraordinary amount of police resources,” Cate Faehrmann said.

Recent estimates have Australians consuming over 3,300,000 bags of cocaine per year, with every single one of them bought off the black market. There is no way of knowing whether any of them have been cut with deadly substances like fentanyl or nitazene. 

“We have to acknowledge that the majority of people who use cocaine do so recreationally and there is absolutely no chance of stopping people using the drug. We therefore need to consider all options to reduce harm, including regulating cocaine in a similar way to how we regulate alcohol.

“A regulated market would undercut the black market and drive organised drug gangs out of business.

“A government-regulated market would also mean people would know what substances they were taking and could receive information about how to reduce harm.

“Every day governments sit back and pretend the war on drugs is working, they’re allowing powerful crime gangs to continue to make billions while putting more lives at risk,” said Cate Faehrmann.

profile image
Cate Faehrmann
NSW Greens MP
12 June 2024
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