As another year ends, the Directors and I would like to thank you for your support in 2018 and wish you a happy Christmas.
It's been a huge year for drug policy reform in Australia and around the world.
Here are a few of the incremental but significant developments.
- Australia's second Safe Injecting facility opened in Melbourne;
- Australia's first pill testing trial went ahead in Canberra;
- 3 Australian Parliamentary Political parties now support Cannabis legalisation;
- Canada became the second country and first Commonwealth member to legalise adult use of Cannabis;
- NZ legalised the use of Medical Cannabis by creating a "Legal Defence" for using Herbal Cannabis for medical purposes. (compared to Australia where herbal medical cannabis users and suppliers are still prosecuted);
- Dr Andrew Katelaris was acquitted of drug supply charges for providing Cannabis oil on the grounds of "medical necessity";
- NZ government has agreed to a referendum on legalising Cannabis by 2020;
- Mexican and South African High courts have ruled that Cannabis prohibition is unconstitutional.
These are positive developments, but there is a lot of work to be done to reform Australia's counterproductive drug laws which is why we need your help.
Highlights from 2018
With the help of many supporters, we've expanded our advocacy activities this year with submissions to 2 parliamentary drug inquiries, held street stalls campaigning for pill testing, attended the Rainbow Serpent festival and organised two drug reform events at the Melbourne Town Hall.
Support Don't Punish Forum
On the 26th June Drug Policy Australia with 15 supporting AOD organisations organised the inaugural Melbourne Town Hall forum to celebrate 'Support. Don't Punish' day - a global initiative calling for drug policies that prioritise public health and human rights.
The Support Don't Punish activities included over 25 street volunteers wearing Support Don’t Punish t-shirts handing out flyers and collecting donations at 10 locations in the Melbourne CBD.
We hope to run similar events in other capital cities next year, so if you'd like to organise a Support Don't Punish event in your city, please contact me before the 28th Feb 2019.
Johann Hari Melbourne Forum
Depression and addiction are on the rise in Australia, fed by stigma and silence. Criminalising drug use and medicating depression has not fixed the problem.
Johann Hari, New York Times best-selling author of Chasing the Scream believes that there is a better way.
We sponsored his Melbourne appearance attended by 800 people who were inspired by Johann talking from the heart about decriminalising all drugs, ending stigma and the war on drug users.
ANNOUNCEMENT - Johann Hari has agreed to be a Charity Patron of Drug Policy Australia
Rainbow Serpent Festival 2019
While attending the Rainbow Serpent festival last year I was reminded just how vulnerable people are without access to drug testing services.
Drug Policy Australia had a stall in Lexton just outside Rainbow last year and will be attending this year's festival with a Bazaar stall seeking support for pill testing and handing out information.
Come and talk with myself or Adriana Buccianti, a vocal advocate for pill testing services after her son Daniel died at a Rainbow Serpent festival in 2012.
This summer, it’s likely that more young people, like Daniel, will die from poisonous pills at music festivals.
That’s just one policy area where new approaches to drug policy will young save lives.
Laws don’t stop people from using drugs.
But the right laws and approaches can stop needless deaths. I stand for drug safety and sensible laws that reduce drug related harm, and increase safety.
Having recovered from my own addition, I appreciate from personal experience how counterproductive the current drug laws are. They certainly didn't help me when I desperately need help, and they are not helping the thousands of families who need help today. That’s why Dr John Sherman, an addiction specialist with 40 years experience and I set up Drug Policy Australia. Help us campaign to treat drugs as a health issue, not a criminal problem.
We push for alternative approaches to drug policy that will save lives.
Will you donate today to help reform Australia's Drug laws?
The best way to help is to make a small regular donation. Just $20/month the equivalent of one coffee a week will help our work for drug safety in Australia?
Please make a regular gift for sensible drug policies as part of your holiday preparations.
All Donations are tax deductible and receipts will be issued by email.
With your help, e are looking forward to expanding our work in 2019.
Call me anytime on 0417 773372
Thank you for caring. Greg
Greg Chipp, Dr John Sherman, Stephanie Tzanetis and Annie Madden