Pubdate: Mon, 24 Mar 2003
Source: Border Mail (Australia)
Copyright: 2003 Border Mail
Author: B. McConnell
Cited: Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform


ATTEMPTS to deal effectively with drugs brings back early memories of
my school friends mother saying to him: "I have told you 1000 times..."

I often wondered why she did not change her approach after the second
or even the 10th failure to achieve change.

Australia has spent enormous sums of money trying to prevent drugs
coming into the country and trying to stop people using drugs.

Prevention methods so far have been unsuccessful and the problem has

Almost 40 per cent of Australians have tried illegal drugs.

In 2001, for cannabis, amphetamine and heroin, law enforcement seized
about 15 per cent of my back-of-the-envelope estimate of 39 tonnes
that washed over our streets.

If after our "1000" efforts it is still easy to get drugs, it is time
to change.

The greatest danger for a person using an illegal drug is not knowing
what is in the pill they swallow or the substance they inject because
the drugs are sold through an uncontrolled black market.

If we cannot stop the availability or use of drugs then we need
policies that will minimise the harm.

The Greens policy tackles the drug issue from this angle.

We would prefer our young people not use drugs but we would certainly
want to see them still alive and as healthy as possible after their
drug using episode.

Surely, after our previously failed "1000" attempts, the
Greens policy is worth serious consideration.

B. McConnell,

President, Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform, Higgins
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