Category: Drug Offences

Nimbin Locals Imprisoned for Selling Cannabis


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim Jurisdictions around the world are legalising cannabis. One in five US citizens now lives in a state where the recreational use of the plant is permitted. Uruguay changed its laws to allow marijuana use nationwide back in 2013. And Canada is set to legalise it by July next year. ...

The Campaign Against Drug Testing of Welfare Recipients


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim As part of the May budget, the Turnbull government announced its controversial plan to drug test people who are in receipt of social security. Australian treasurer Scott Morrison described it as a “modest drug testing trial” for 5,000 new Youth Allowance and Newstart recipients, meaning mainly young people. Under the proposal, ...

Government’s Ban on ‘Stop Smoking Aid’ Makes No Sense


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim Over three million Australians continue to partake in one of the most deadly habits around. Although smoking rates have fallen dramatically in recent decades, the last national survey found that 15.6 percent of the adult population are still lighting up. Two out of every three smokers will die from a ...

The Dangers of a Blanket Ban on Synthetic Drugs


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim “The global war on drugs has failed,” the Global Commission on Drug Policy declared on June 2 2011. The panel of world leaders and intellectuals outlined in its report that prohibition has led to increased drug consumption, fostered powerful crime networks and contributed to mass incarceration. The commission’s findings have ...

Big Tobacco Will Pay for its Day in Court


Tobacco giant Philip Morris has been ordered to pay the Australian Government millions of dollars in legal costs, after its failed bid to kill off plain packaging. Australia’s plain packaging tobacco laws are some of the toughest in the world, and when they were introduced by the Federal Government in 2012, the big cigarette companies ...

Silencing Dissent: Myanmar Authorities Arrest Journalists


At around 3.30pm on June 26, a group of seven people were arrested by Myanmar authorities at a military checkpoint in the country’s conflict-ridden northern Shan state. Three local journalists were among the group who were detained in Namhsan township in the north of the region. Democratic Voice of Burma reporters Aye Nai and Pyae ...

Police Arrest Patient For Possessing Medicinal Cannabis: An Interview with MCUA’s Deb Lynch


On June 19, Queensland police arrested Deb Lynch, secretary of the Medicinal Cannabis Users Association of Australia (MCUA), on charges of possessing a dangerous drug. Several officers were at her Cornubia residence on a different matter, when they noticed her cannabis medicine. Ms Lynch suffers from multiple conditions, including Scleroderma and post-traumatic stress disorder. And ...

Victoria Police May Get the Power to Search Without a Reason


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim Victoria police are pushing the Andrews government to expand police search powers at music festivals, so that officers are able to search patrons for drugs without having a reasonable suspicion to do so. Police claim the powers are necessary to counter the spate of drug-related deaths across the state ...

Barriers to Medicinal Cannabis: An Interview with Medical Cannabis Advisory’s Grace Sands


Last week, a Greens motion passed through federal parliament that allows terminally ill patients faster access to cannabis medicines. These patients are now able to import up to three months’ supply of medical marijuana from regulated markets overseas. The disallowance motion amended changes that the Turnbull government made to the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s (TGA) Special Access Scheme ...

Disabled Pensioners: the Government’s New Drug War Targets


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim The Turnbull government has hit a new low in its war against drugs. Legislation has just been tabled that proposes to deny the pension to hundreds of people who are currently deemed disabled due to their level of drug or alcohol dependency. It’s well known Australian states and territories ...