Current Issues

USA Drug Policy Focus

The chief advisor on drug policy in the Obama administration visited Australia late in 2012 and disclosed the United States drug policy focus of prevention and recovery.

In addressing the political, government and community leaders, Director Kerlikowske highlighted-

  • Opposing legalization of illicit drugs like medical cannabis.
  • A national strategy to PREVENT harms from illicit drugs
  • Education of young people about the truthful effects of drugs
  • Emphasis on protecting children from illicit drug use in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
  • More funding for drug treatment that gets users off drugs
  • Expanding drug courts to reduce addiction relapse
  • The HOPE project to help prisoners on parole who fail drug tests
  • Signing the 5 nation joint statement in support of humane and balanced illicit drug policy in Stockholm Sweden in May 2012

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

Australia needs to follow the U.S.A. and scrap its illicit drug maintenance programs, focusing on prevention, education and rehabilitation for users to get them free of their addiction.

That the U.S.A. has looked to Sweden for a successful drug policy should be followed here in Australia.

Australia can learn how to reduce its high illicit drug using population by court ordered and supervised drug rehabilitation.

Unexplained Wealth From Illicit Drugs

The Australian Federal Police have identified six crime bosses operating in Australia that have each amassed $100 million in unexplained wealth from illicit drugs.

Another 72 people have acquired more than $10 million each in unexplained wealth.

International drug traffickers focused on Australia because of astronomical returns due to the value of the Australian dollar.

According to the Australian Federal Police Commissioner the Mr. Bigs are two or three steps removed from the drug importation.

(Source: Melbourne Herald Sun newspaper 22 April 2013)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

Whilst the high Australia dollar is attractive to international crime syndicate there is no doubt the high Australian illicit drug demand is driving imports.

Australia is a target for drug criminals because we are high illicit drug users.

A key strategy to cut off the drug money is to mandate drug rehabilitation to illicit drug users to drastically cut the demand for drugs.

Cutting drug use and the number of users is operating in other countries and is effective in drying up the money flow to the traffickers.

World’s best practice uses the courts to divert illicit drug users into rehabilitation therefore saving the harm to users and saving health and border protection costs.

Synthetic Drugs Ban

Synthetic drugs that mimic illicit drugs like cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines and ICE will be targeted in a crackdown in New South Wales.

This follows a parliamentary committee report recently released in New South Wales.

These products are dangerous and are known to lead to psychotic episodes and even deaths.

(Source: NSW Fair Trading media release 9 June 2013)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

This crackdown should be followed by other state and territory governments who are faced with the same problem.

A 17 year old male in Sydney jumped off a balcony to his death after taking a synthetic drug recently.

Synthetic drugs are highly dangerous as the chemicals are unknown or are changed to keep one step in front of the law.

Other states like Victoria and Western Australia have banned these synthetic drugs but the adult shops where they are sold are operating with impunity.

With drug related deaths associated with synthetic drugs all states and territories as well as the federal government need to have a major crackdown.

What this demand for synthetic drugs shows is that young Australians are still caught up in the need for intoxication.

Youth intoxication shows that there is a great need for more drug rehabilitation services that get users free of drugs.

Prison Drug Rehabilitation Needed

The Western Australian police commissioner has called for drug rehabilitation in prisons and in the justice system.

Amphetamine addicts are more likely to commit robberies, burglaries or have weapons and were responsible for one in eight violent crimes at higher levels than users of cocaine and cannabis.

Seizing drugs and prison sentences need to have a mechanism for dealing with the addiction.

The commissioner said that the lack of drug rehabilitation within jails was a risk.

The number of amphetamine laboratories in Western Australia is increasing but Queensland has the highest laboratory detections in Australia.

(Source: Reported at the University of Western Australia seminar by the Western Australian newspaper 7 June 2013)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

This call for prison drug rehabilitation is supported by our council.

When senior police call for drug rehabilitation programs then this is a clear indication for the need to get addicts clean.

World’s best practice shows that drug rehabilitation is effective in rehabilitating convicted criminals to get free of their addiction.

Court ordered and supervised illicit drug rehabilitation for prisoners, drugged drivers and illicit drug users is money well spent in avoiding future violence, traffic accidents, crime and increasing health costs.

Organised Crime And Drugs

The Australian Crime Commission report “Organised Crime in Australia” 2011 clearly links organized crime and illicit drugs.

In its latest report the Crime Commission clearly links the same organized criminals with both trafficking performance enhancing drugs in sport and also illicit drugs.

The Commission believes that the use of illicit drugs by professional athletes is likely to be understated.

The Commission believes that illicit drug use leaves athletes particularly vulnerable to exploitation for other crimes including match fixing, fraud and insider information for betting.

The Commission has evidence that some athletes are supplying others with illicit drugs.

(Source: Organised Crime and Drugs in Sport, Australian Crime Commission, released February 2013)

DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL COMMENTS-

These Australian Crime Commission reports on the link between organized crime and drugs are not new.

The Crime Commission has stated that organized crime poses a threat to Australia’s national security.

Illicit drugs have an estimated social cost of over $8000 million every year in Australia according to the Commission.

Plus the health risks to illicit drug users even professional athletes is beyond these costs.

That is why Australia must not treat illicit drug use as a health issue but support programs that eliminate use and get users free of drugs quickly.

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THE DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA SUPPORTS

More detoxification & rehabilitation that gets illicit drug users drug free.
Court ordered and supervised detoxification & rehabilitation.
Less illicit drug users, drug pushers and drug related crimes.

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