SUBMISSION OF FAMILIES AND FRIENDS FOR DRUG LAW REFORM TO THE INQUIRY OF THE SENATE LEGAL AND CONSTITUTIONAL LEGISLATION COMMITTEE INTO THE CRIMINAL CODE AND OTHER LEGISLATION AMENDMENT (REMOVING COMMONWEALTH RESTRICTIONS ON CANNABIS) BILL 2018
2. Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform has long maintained that currently illicit drugs are far too available. Indeed, our members have lost children, brothers, sisters and partners because of the ready availability of those drugs. Perversely the illegality has made them more available and, agonisingly, put it beyond the power of families to help their loved ones. Our current drug laws have delivered those whom we loved to the mercy of criminals while at the same time disempowering both our loved ones and their families from providing support and assistance. Far too many of our members suffered the agony of watching, disempowered, as their loved ones were sucked into a morass of addiction, crime and isolation. We see this Bill as providing a sound basis for approaching the problems associated with drug use as health and social ones rather than crimes.
3. The first principle of any public policy should be to avoid, as far as possible, the infliction of harm. Members of Families and Friends have experienced at first hand the harms inflicted by a drug policy of maximum restriction – prohibition. Equally, we can envisage that untrammelled liberalisation leading to commercially motivated promotion of psychotropic substances will replicate the harms that have been associated with legal addictive substances like alcohol and tobacco. The aim of public policy is to achieve the sweet spot of minimum harm midway between the extremes of coercion and rampant commercialisation. Families and Friends supports this Bill because it will pave the way for this to be done.
Read the full submission here.