Category: Drug Offences

NSW Police Want the Unappealable Right to Shut Down Music Festivals


The NSW Police Force (NSWPF) is intensifying its already full throttle assault on music festivals. Not only does it want to saturate events with officers and turn away punters even though they are not in possession of illegal drugs, but it now wants the power to terminate festivals no questions asked. Despite the NSW Land and Environment ...

More Music Festival Overdoses, But Still No Pill Testing


Another music festival, another death from a drug overdose – and the festival season is just beginning. 19-year Callum Brosnan from Baulkham Hills is dead and three other young adults are in critical conditions after suspected drug overdoses at the “Knockout Games of Destiny” dance festival at Sydney Showground on Saturday night. Callum was found ...

Calling Out Drug Dogs: An Interview With Inner West Greens Councillor Tom Kiat


Inner West Greens Councillor Tom Kiat tipped off his Facebook page followers who might have been attending the Edge festival in Ashfield on 6 September about drug detection dogs that were present at the local train station. The post subsequently gained the attention of NSW local government minister Gabrielle Upton. And in late September, the minister announced ...

Facing Prison Time Over Son’s Cannabis Medicine: An Interview With Jamie Blake


Next Monday, Jamie Blake and his partner Stephanie McKay are to stand trial in the Rockhampton Supreme Court over drug charges that could see them behind bars. The reason they’re facing prison is they were trying to help their autistic child. Callum is the 5-year-old son of the couple who live in the Queensland town of ...

Cannabis Legalisation in Australia: It’s Only a Matter of Time


The United States led the way in establishing the international system of drug prohibition last century. The intensification of drug law enforcement known as the war on drugs was launched by US president Richard Nixon in 1971. Even in India – a country where cannabis has long played an important role in the culture – the ...

Not Guilty on All Charges: An Interview With Medicinal Cannabis Crusader Dr Andrew Katelaris


At around noon on Thursday, a jury found renowned medicinal cannabis practitioner Dr Andrew Katelaris not guilty on a number of very serious charges relating to the supply and manufacture of cannabis medicines. Representing himself in court, Dr Katelaris argued a defence of medical necessity, meaning that his patients’ needs were so dire that it ...

Decriminalise Drug Possession: An Interview With Former AFP Commissioner Mick Palmer


Calls for reforms to the approach Australian governments take to illicit drugs are growing stronger. The idea that personal drug use and possession should be treated primarily as a health and social issue, and not a criminal offence, is starting to become commonplace. And the push for drug law reform in this country is coming ...

High Price User-Pays Policing: The New Tactic to Shut Down Music Festivals


Despite a court ruling last week that the northern NSW music festival Bohemian Beatfreaks could go ahead, the NSW Police Force (NSWPF) was able to push the event interstate by charging the organisers exorbitant user pays policing fees that had the potential to bankrupt them. Police were initially trying to close down the festival over safety ...

Removing Criminal Sanctions for Drug Use: An Interview With Australia21’s Dr Alex Wodak


“We call on Australia’s federal, state and territory governments to treat drug use primarily as a health and social issue and to remove criminal sanctions for personal use and possession,” begins think tank Australia21’s recently released fourth report on illicit drug policy in this country. While this call to decriminalise personal possession and use from ...

Victorian Liberals Vow to Shut Down Life-Saving Injecting Facility


In what can only be described as a terribly misguided move, Victorian Opposition leader Matthew Guy has announced that if he wins the state election on Saturday, he’ll be shutting down the newly-opened North Richmond Medically Supervised Injecting Room (MSIR) in his first week in office. The leader of the Victorian Liberals made the announcement on ...