Category: Drug Offences

Drug Decriminalisation Is Logical: An Interview with SSDP Australia’s Penelope Hill


The tough on drugs approach has been shown to actually increase the harms associated with the use of illicit substances. However, successive Australian governments have ignored the evidence and continue to apply zero tolerance policies. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the state of Victoria at present. The Andrews government passed a bill last ...

LGBTIQ Harm Reduction Innovations: An Interview with Unharm’s Kane Race


Australian authorities continue to take a heavy-handed law enforcement approach to illicit substances. This is despite the evidence that suggests zero-tolerance policies actually increase the harms associated with the use of illegal drugs. Victoria police are currently pushing for expanded powers that would enable them to search people at music festivals without having a reasonable ...

Drug Possession Charge Quashed Due to Illegal Search


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim A man was recently acquitted of a conviction of drug possession in the NSW District Court, when he appealed his conviction by the Local Court on the ground that a police officer’s search was unlawful. The case reiterates that police don’t have the power to randomly search people or ...

Pill Testing Approved for Aussie Music Festival


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim Finally, after years of calls from health professionals and members of the public, Australia is about to see its first government-sanctioned pill testing trial at a music festival, with the aim, of course, of reducing the dangers associated with drug use and ultimately saving people’s lives. Last Friday, ACT ...

AOD Media Watch: Correcting Mainstream Media Misinformation About Drugs


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim On March 31 this year, an opinion piece appeared in the Age with the headline, The zombie apocalypse is here and none of us are safe. The author Wendy Squires relates a confrontation she had with a man, who’d allegedly been using ice, in a small park whilst walking ...

Your Rights When Approached by Police at Music Festivals


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim The hot weather is starting to kick in and with it, the festival season is upon us. Thousands of revellers are gearing up to take in their favourite live music acts, get down to some old skool beats, or spend the weekend partying at a bush doof. But as ...

Stop Murdering Drug Users: An Interview with Harm Reduction Advocate Pascal Tanguay


At 8pm on Thursday night, Catholic leaders across the Philippines rang their church bells simultaneously for five minutes to honour those who have died during president Rodrigo Duterte’s “reign of terror.” The ritual will take place for the next 40 days and is a call for the bloodshed to stop. The Philippine president won last year’s election ...

Medicinal Cannabis for the Elderly: An Interview with Canna Nanna Karen Burge


The Therapeutic Goods Administration’s Special Access Scheme (SAS) is a formal arrangement that allows patients to import unapproved therapeutic goods into the country. There are two main pathways to access imported medicines via this scheme: category A and category B. Category A allows terminally ill patients fast access to imported products, as a doctor only ...

Residents Demand Safe Injecting Facility


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim The Melbourne suburbs of North Richmond and Abbotsford have long been the site of an extensive street drug market. And with it come the harms associated with an unregulated and criminalised drug trade. Between 2009 and 2015, there were 96 drug-related deaths recorded in the local area. In 2015 ...

The Common Law Continues to Develop in Australia


The common law – or ‘judge made law’ – refers to the body of law developed by the decisions of judges. In a common law system, past decisions are known as ‘precedents’. Fundamental to the common law is the principle of ‘stare decisis’ – a Latin phrase which means ‘to stand by decided matters’. Stare ...