DRUG POLICIES 1970-1997
- 1997: CONTROLLED AVAILABILITY OF DRUGS (Recommended)
- 1992: DECRIMINALISE DRUG USE
- 1971: TREAT DRUG USE AS A HEALTH PROBLEM
- 1970: LEGALISE MARIJUANA USE
1997: POLICIES ON THE USE OF ILLICIT
Recognising the failure of prohibition, the CCL maintains that
there should be a comprehensive review to identify which laws
impact adversely on public health and require amendment and
should explore and seek to implement workable alternatives to
current policies. (Committee meeting May 1997).
The CCL maintains that illicit drug use should be addressed
as a health rather than a legal issue. It therefore advocates
the transfer of powers relating to drug use from the criminal
justice system to the health system.
It also supports the policy of harm minimisation rather than
zero tolerance in treatment of the effects of illicit drugs.
Regarding trade in illicit drugs, it and advocates a regulation
of the drugs market.
It has therefore adopted the Redfern Legal Centre Model of
Controlled Availability of illicit drugs which states:
`Harm reduction should be the standard against which we measure
the success or failure of existing drug laws and proposals for
change. We need to move towards greater regulation of
the drugs market to enable us as a society to influence the
size and operation of the drugs market. We must explore alternative
strategies to control the size of the black market, including
considering changes to the law regarding supply.
Regarding the powers of the police and penalties:
CCL advocates the removal of prison as a sentencing option
for drug use or possession. It supports the view that enforcement
practices should be better directed and varied, leaving ample
legal power for the police to control offensive or anti-social
behaviour. It also maintained that further consideration should
also be given to the use of police discretion and formal police
cautions for first offenders. On-the-spot fines were not recommended
as they can discriminate against the disadvantaged.
CCL supports an integrated approach involving research, education
and treatment of illicit drugs and further research such as:
the use of methadone, naltrexone, narcan and other drugs;
the trial of the legal provision of heroin for the addicted;
the trial of medically supervised injecting rooms with protection
of workers and without police harassment of the clients of the
facilities. It maintains that the use of cannabis for medical
purposes should be allowed.
Policies that need to be addressed:
- the de-criminalisation of the use of all illicit drugs
- the offense of the use an illicit drug and the possession
a small quantity for personal use should be abolished
- the offence of use without changing the law prohibiting
possession as (drug use and possession are currently
separate offences) should be abolished
- the offense of possession of drug equipment such as needles
and syringes should be removed.
N.B In 1997, the CCL supported the legalisation of the use
of cannabis use, subject to government controls.
"The Council reaffirms its policy of the decriminalisation
of drug use."
(Committee Meeting 22nd January 1992)
reaffirms its policy of the decriminalisation of drug use."
(Committee Meeting 22nd January 1992)
1971: TREAT DRUG USE
AS A HEALTH PROBLEM
powers relating to drug use, rather than trafficking or importing,
etc., be transferred to relevant health authorities and removed
from the jurisdiction of police forces." (Committee Meeting
19th May 1971).
consideration of the documentary and other evidence available,
the Council for Civil Liberties support in principle the legalisation
of the usage of marijuana in Australia subject to certain Government
controls, preferably by legislation. That the subcommittee be
instructed to seek the assistance and cooperation of a member
of the legal panel and an industrial chemist for the purpose
of defining suggested controls." (Committee Meeting 27th
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New South Wales Council for Civil Liberties Inc