Category: Drug Offences

Decriminalise Drugs Now, Demand Top Brass


Former NSW premier Bob Carr and former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett launched the new Australia 21 report in Sydney last Monday. Entitled Can Australia Respond to Drugs More Effectively and Safely?, the report outlines thirteen key recommendations aiming to decriminalise drugs and minimise the harms associated with their use. Australia 21 is an independent public ...

Australia Should Follow Portugal’s Drug Decriminalisation Model


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim Portugal decriminalised the possession of all illicit drugs for personal use in 2001. If an individual is found with a permitted amount of cannabis, methamphetamine or heroin on them, they are not sent to court where they face the prospect of a criminal conviction, but to a dissuasion panel ...

Sniffer Dog Operations – Ineffective, Intrusive and Dangerous


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim Once again, figures obtained under the Government Information (Public Access) Act NSW 2009 suggest that the enormous amount of taxpayer funds and police resources invested into drug dog detection programs are not delivering dividends when it comes to addressing the illegal use of drugs. Instead, they are resulting in ...

Government Pays Prisoner $100k to Settle Lawsuit


By Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim A convicted drug supplier has been awarded $100,000 in an out-of-court settlement after commencing civil proceedings against the South Australian government on the basis that his diabetes worsened while in prison. Original court documents show that Bruno Tassone claimed more than $2 million dollars in damages due to the ...

Government Bureaucracy Impedes Access to Medicinal Cannabis


Australian health minister Greg Hunt announced last week that medical marijuana will be more readily available within the next eight weeks. He said the government will ensure the fast tracking of the importation of cannabis based medicines. This relaxing of the laws will authorise an international company to export their medicine to Australia to fill ...

The President’s Role in Shaping Crime Policy


By Zeb Holmes and Ugur Nedim The election of Donald Trump came at a time of widespread dissatisfaction with traditional politics and discontent with the perceived direction of the nation when it comes to both domestic and international policies, including criminal justice. The tension between the movement towards diversionary and preventatives measures on the one ...

Portugal’s Experience of Drug Decriminalisation


Around one percent of the population in Portugal was addicted to heroin in 1999. The nation also reportedly had the highest number of drug-related AIDS deaths in the European Union. The government had been waging the usual war on drugs since the 1980s, but it wasn’t working. However, Portugal’s current drug-induced death rate sits at ...

The Real Cost of our Love Affair with Alcohol


Almost half of all homicides in Australia are alcohol-related, and more than a quarter of Australians report being affected by alcohol-fuelled violence. These statistics and a wealth of research leaves little doubt that our love affair with alcohol is a particularly toxic one – both in terms of health and social costs. Drug of choice ...

“Good People Don’t Smoke Marijuana”: New US Chief Lawyer an Obstacle to Reform


By Zeb Holmes and Ugur Nedim US President Donald Trump has named Jeff Sessions as the US Attorney General, the chief lawyer and prosecutor for the federal government. There are concerns Mr Session’s appointment will mean the end of proposals designed to reduce the US prison population through drug decriminalisation and a greater focus on ...

Buddhist Monk Charged with Commercial Drug Supply


Last Sunday night, senior Buddhist monk U Arsara was driving in his Toyota Kluger from Shwe Baho village in southern Maungdaw district, in the northwestern state of Rakhine, Myanmar. At around 6 pm, he was stopped by police at the Bawdhikone checkpoint on the outskirts of the township. The Buddhist monk was heading to a ...