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Australian MPs want the country to decriminalise drug use

They want a similar system to Portugal where users are provided treatment

  • Mixmag staff
  • 21 July 2015

A group of Australian MPs want the country's drug laws to be altered.

Richard Di Natale, Sharman Stone and Melissa Parke all wish for drug use to be decriminalised, with the government instead providing treatment to users who are caught.

Di Natale, the Greens leader and co-convenor of Australian Parliamentary Group on Drug Law Reform, is calling for a similar system to Portugal, where users have been given health care since 2001.

"Individuals [in Australia] who get into trouble with their drug use wouldn't be subject to criminal penalties. Instead they would front a health panel which gets them into treatment and helps them with other things like housing and employment support.

"Instead what we've seen is a huge decline in all the things associated with harmful drug use. We've also seen more people in treatment, fewer drug overdoses, fewer cases of HIV and a decrease in crime."

Alongside Di Natale, Stone believes this would reduce drug use, as it has in Portugal, therefore putting the criminals "out of business", while a spokesman for Parke said there is a "growing awareness of the failure of the war on drugs".

This comes after Prime Minister Tony Abbott admitted the country would never be victorious in the "war on drugs".

[Via: inthemix and The Age]
[Photo: MDMA Team]

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