Category: Drug Offences

Australia Pioneered Drug Harm Reduction and Must Continue


Programs, strategies and policies designed to prevent or reduce the harms associated with the use of illicit substances are collectively known as harm reduction. This approach to drug use has been a key pillar of Australia’s National Drug Strategy since its first iteration in 1985. With the HIV/AIDS crisis looming in the mid-80s, it became ...

Challenging Abuse of Police Powers: An Interview With Greens MLC David Shoebridge


The NSW police use of drug detections dog in public places without a warrant has been widely discredited in the public eye. The damning NSW Ombudsman report into the program was released as far back as 2006. NSW Greens MLC David Shoebridge makes clear that up to 75 percent of times that people are searched after a ...

Magistrate’s Rebuke of “Privileged” Drug Takers Was Misguided


Magistrate Robyn Denes chastised a number of young professionals from privileged backgrounds that appeared before her in Burwood Local Court on drug charges last week. The magistrate warned that these women can’t hide behind their “social fortune for too long.” As reported by news.com.au, the women, including a nurse, a recruiter and a bank loan provider, ...

Drug Driving Laws Criminalise the Legal Use of Cannabis


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim The Berejiklian government announced in January that NSW police are set to more than double the number of roadside drug tests they conduct from 97,000 to 200,000 a year by 2020. And along with more tests, another drug will be added to the list that officers test for. As of ...

Can NSW Police Exclude Patrons Based on a Positive Drug Indication Alone?


There is an enormous amount of evidence to suggest that positive indications by drug detection dogs are not a reliable indicator of the presence of drugs. Police figures suggest that between two-thirds and eighty percent of positive indications are ‘false’ – meaning the subject does not have drugs on them at the time. There are ...

Premier Wants Sniffer Dogs in Schools


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim The present heavy-handed approach to illicit drug use has been widely been discredited by former police commissioners, politicians and health professionals. Instead of curbing the use of the illegal drugs, it’s accepted it increases the harms associated with substance use. However, newly appointed South Australian premier Steven Marshall has decided ...

Cannabis Gummy Bears Available in Australia


Cannabis edibles are making their way onto the Australian drug scene, and they make it easier for users to avoid detection as they can be chewed at any time, anywhere. Edible cannabis-derived gummies which may contain both THC or CBD oil in them, look like gummy bear lollies or soft chewy multivitamins. And because of ...

Church of Ubuntu Secretary Challenges Suppression Charges


This Saturday marks a year since a boy who suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy was taken from the care of his parents. On May 19 last year, NSW police and Family and Community Services (FACS) removed the boy from Newcastle’s Church of Ubuntu. Section 43(1) of the Children and Young Persons (Care and Protection) Act ...

The Rights of People Who Use Drugs: An Interview With INPUD’s Judy Chang


The war on drugs has failed. This is a reality that’s increasingly being acknowledged around the globe, as communities start to realise that the outcomes produced by this intensification of drug law enforcement have been overwhelmingly destructive. The close to fifty years of the drug war has seen the mass incarceration of people for merely using ...

Australia’s First Sanctioned Pill Testing Trial Is Just the Beginning


The resounding success of Australia’s first government-sanctioned pill testing trial at the Groovin the Moo festival in Canberra last Sunday drew a line in the sand of this nation’s harm reduction landscape. Before it took place, the voices of those conservative forces who rallied against the trialling of a method that’s been proved saves lives ...