Pubdate: Wed, 14 Jun 2000
Source: Daily Telegraph (Australia)
Copyright: News Limited 2000
Author: Michael Dawson
Note: Headline supplied by newshawk


Your editorial (Daily Telegraph, June 13) claims that the Australian Drug 
Summit 2000 should "address the issues" but did not go on to expand on that 
line. Perhaps that is because such an expansion would bring up issues that 
your paper consistently chooses to ignore.

For example, the most recent report from the Alcohol And Other Drugs 
Council Of Australia (ADCA) states: "Illegal drugs are also being used by 
an increasing proportion of Australians. Cannabis, for example, has been 
used by more than 44 per cent of the Australian population over their 
lifetime, and recently used by 21 per cent. About half the population has 
used currently illicit drugs, including cannabis, at some stage during 
their lifetime."

The ADCA report clearly states that 50 per cent of the Australian 
population are either practising criminals or have engaged in criminal 
activity in the past.

There is something wrong with the criminal laws if 50 per cent of the 
population is unwilling to comply with them.

The Daily Telegraph should cease its hypocritical posturing on the issue of 
illicit drug use and accept the fact that the recreational drug of choice 
for at least 50 per cent of Australians is not alcohol, nicotine or caffeine.

ADCA statistics also show that alcohol and tobacco cause significantly more 
harm than all illicit drags combined. In the light of these ADCA findings, 
it is clear that Australia needs a radical new approach to the issue of 
drug use and misuse.

Dr Michael Dawson, University of Technology, Sydney
- ---
MAP posted-by: Keith Brilhart