Drug decriminalisation would ‘save hundreds of millions’, but Queensland Premier rules it out

By Matt Wordsworth

Key points:

  • The Queensland Productivity Commission says “all available evidence” shows the war on drugs fails to restrict usage or supply
  • Queensland spends $500 million a year just on drug law enforcement
  • The QPC says proposed reforms would lower prisoner numbers by up to 30 per cent in five years

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has ruled out decriminalising drugs despite a new report saying it would cut the state’s record rate of incarceration and save hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars a year.

It is the centrepiece of 42 reforms proposed by the Queensland Productivity Commission (QPC), after its examination of the state’s overcrowded prison system.

The QPC found decriminalisation would improve the lives of drug addicts without increasing the rate of drug use.

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