Pubdate: Tue, 01 Apr 2003
Source: West Australian (Australia)
Copyright: 2003 West Australian Newspapers Limited
Author: A. Wodak

THE recently announced modest reforms of cannabis policy in WA are a step 
in the right direction and long overdue.  Total cannabis prohibition is 
expensive.  Benefits - apart from some short-term political gains - are 
difficult to identify.  Scarce resources will be saved by the new approach 
and these can be diverted to increase policing of violent crime.

Draconian cannabis prohibition produced considerable collateral 
damage.  This includes police corruption (as documented in royal 
commissions in Queensland and NSW).  There are also high social costs, 
including disruption of relationships and careers and loss of accomodation.

The proposed changes are incremental and will no doubt be evaluated. 
Modernising cannabis prohibition has not led to increased cannabis use in 
Australia or other countries.  The WA Government deserves congratulations 
and support for introducing policies based on evidence and a careful review 
of options.

DR A. WODAK, president Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation

Darlinghurst, Sydney 
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