Pubdate: Fri, 26 May 2000
Source: Canberra Times (Australia)
Copyright: 2000 Canberra Times
Author: B. McConnell
Note: The writer is President of Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform


THE FUNERAL of David Green was held on Wednesday of last week. That he was 
well known was demonstrated by the many people who attended the funeral. 
David during his life did not receive a knighthood nor any of the usual 
public acknowledgements but he may have triggered a series of events that 
may prove to save many lives.

When one of his sons died from a heroin overdose in 1995, David was 
instrumental in starting the group Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform 
and became the group's first chairman. He wanted to make a difference and 
did not want other parents to suffer the same tragedy.

It was this singular act that encouraged other parents to overcome the 
stigma of a drug-related death and to speak out about these needless and 
tragic deaths. He showed that those who succumbed to drugs were much loved 
despite their sometimes chaotic existence a more compassionate approach 
than existed at that time.

The Legislative Assembly's Speaker, Greg Cornwell, is reported in The 
Canberra times (May 15) as saying parents of drug users or parents who have 
lost a child to drugs should do some soul-searching. Presumably so that 
they will arrive at the, often repeated and often failed, solutions he has 
in mind.

I believe that David did search his soul. A tragedy of such personal 
magnitude could hardly fail to cause one to do so. At the funeral, one of 
his sons declared that David did not die of a heart attack as officially 
recorded, but of a broken heart because of the unnecessary death of his son.

But David did more than search his soul he came to the conclusion that 
alternative approaches were necessary and he took action.

Vale, David.

B. McConnell President, Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform, Higgins
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