Category: Drug Possession

Pill Testing Is Inevitable: An Interview with MP Shane Rattenbury


Despite the initial set back to Australia’s first government-sanctioned pill testing trial taking place, it appears that those behind the initiative are confident it will go ahead. According to them, the question is not if, but when. On September 22, ACT health minister Meegan Fitzharris announced that her government had approved a trial of a pill ...

Defendant Appeals after Pleading Guilty Due to Incorrect Legal Advice


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim On the afternoon of 26 May 2015, Brett Ritchie was pulled over by police as he was driving down the Oxley Highway near Wauchope. The officers then arrested him due to outstanding warrants. Whilst standing next to the car, Mr Ritchie removed a fabric sunglasses case from his pocket ...

Country-Based Drug Treatment: An Interview with Professor David Penington


In late October, Victorian premier Daniel Andrews approved a two-year trial of a safe injecting centre for North Richmond. The inner city Melbourne suburb has long been the site of an open street drug market, and 34 overdose deaths have already occurred in the local area this year. The campaign for the facility had the support of ...

Fears for the Life of the Boy Who Cannot Be Named


We previously reported that at around 4.30 pm on May 19 this year, two Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) workers, accompanied by four NSW police officers, entered Newcastle’s Church of Ubuntu, and removed a boy, who’d been residing there with his parents. The 5-year-old non-verbal boy suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. After a ...

The British Empire’s Opium Trade Led to the War on Drugs


By Paul Gregoire and Ugur Nedim In the mid-18th century, China was exporting large quantities of highly sought-after commodities to European countries, such as porcelain, silk, tea and spices. By contrast, the goods produced in Europe were of little interest to the Chinese. Under the Qing Dynasty, all incoming foreign trade took place in the ...

What are the Penalties for Steroids in NSW?


Before 2014, the possession of drugs classified as anabolic steroids was primarily regulated by the Poisons and Therapeutic Goods Act 1966, which dealt with the substances in much the same way as other prescription drugs. However in 2014, the NSW government reclassified the drugs as narcotics which brought the penalties in line with drugs like ...

Hemp foods are now legal across Australia


By Sonia Hickey and Ugur Nedim Hemp-based foods are now legal across Australia and are expected to appear in supermarkets everywhere. A recent agreement between Australian and New Zealand food safety authorities means hemp-based food products are now legal to produce, sell and purchase, creating new markets for the versatile ‘superfood’. What is hemp? To make ...

Making Medicinal Cannabis Accessible: An Interview with Senator Richard Di Natale


Currently, there’s a private senator’s bill before the House of Representatives that will provide terminally ill patients with rapid access to medicinal cannabis products. But, there are fears the Turnbull government will vote it down. Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale introduced the Medicinal Cannabis Legislation Amendment (Securing Patient Access) Bill 2017 into the Senate in September, ...

Moving Away from the War on Drugs: An Interview with Dr Alex Wodak


The war on drugs in not over yet. But there seems to be some glimmering light at the end of the tunnel, with the major drug law reforms that have been taking place globally over recent years. The US once led the world on drug prohibition. But today, one in five American citizens now lives ...

Richmond Injecting Centre Approved: An Interview With YDHF’s Greg Denham


Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has finally approved the two-year trial of a safe injecting centre in North Richmond. The announcement came in the wake of newly released figures that show 34 overdose deaths have already occurred in the local council area so far this year. Statewide there were 190 deaths attributed to heroin last year, ...