In 1998, a special session of the United Nations General Assembly agreed to set a 10-year deadline to make the world "drug free". After an embarrassing failure to achieve this goal, the deadline was extended a further 10 years, setting the world up for another inevitable failure in 2019.
In the intervening years, the use, availability and variety of illicit drugs have escalated exponentially. It is estimated by the UK charity Transform Foundation that 300 million people worldwide used illegal drugs in 2012, contributing to a global market with a turnover of $US330 billion a year.
“A Drug-Free World: We Can Do It.”Read more
A recent Survey by Roy Morgan Research shows 91% of Australians are supportive of medical Cannabis.
However, what most people do not know is that the Cannabis Australia is allowing to be imported for the first time includes GMO Cannabis. GMO or Genetically Modified Organism Cannabis has been around since 2011 due to breakthroughs in research and Biotechnology by Ethan Russo and GW UK helping in the process. In 2014 even newer GMO Cannabis strains has been introduced.
In early April 2016 as we speak, an Australian delegation is traveling to Asia to look at GMO Cannabis with no THC, and in mid-2016 brings the who’s who of the GMO Biotech Cannabis community to NSW for a conference. There is a real danger that GMO will take over as the dominant medical Cannabis seed stock.
Some of the greatest harms from using illicit drugs are because they are illegal.
Illegal drug production is unregulated and many drugs are manufactured in backyard labs. Users cannot be sure what’s in them or how potent they are, so the risk of adverse reactions, including overdose and death, is high.
A large proportion of the work of the justice system – police, courts and prisons – is occupied with drug-related offences. Many people have a criminal record for possessing drugs intended for personal use, which can affect their work prospects.Read more
Essay by Kofi Annan former Secretary-General of the United Nation
In my experience, good public policy is best shaped by the dispassionate analysis of what in practice has worked, or not. Policy based on common assumptions and popular sentiments can become a recipe for mistaken prescriptions and misguided interventions.
Nowhere is this divorce between rhetoric and reality more evident than in the formulation of global drug policies, where too often emotions and ideology rather than evidence have prevailed.Read more
Pill testing, or drug checking as it’s known in Europe, provides feedback to users on the content of illegal drugs, allowing them to make informed choices.
Taking illicit drugs, especially ecstasy, is not particularly unusual. A 2010 survey found more than 11% of 20- to 29-year-olds and 7% of 18- to 19-year-olds had taken the drug in the previous 12 months. According to annual research among 1,000 ecstasy users, 70% of these pills are taken at clubs, festivals and dance parties.Read more
Psychedelic experiences have left an indelible mark on my soul that I hold dear to my identity today.
I am not alone. According to the National Drug Strategy Household Survey 2013, one in three of us have tried cannabis and one in ten regularly indulge. Hundreds of thousands of us use MDMA (ecstasy), LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and many others every year. I’m a child of the internet age and the communities we have built together online cross the national boundaries. Psychedelic culture is a global phenomenon, expressed through art, music, philosophy and celebrations across the globe.Read more
“Why are the police proceeding with this?” was my question. My client said what she had in her pocket barely registered on the police station’s weighing machine.
One of my first cases as young lawyer was plea bargaining for a PhD university student arrested for a small amount of cannabis because she happened to be talking to a person ‘of interest’ to police. Other people are unlucky too.Read more
Harm Reduction Australia’s Statement on the National Ice Action Strategy
Harm Reduction Australia has welcomed the Federal Government’s first step to shift from a law enforcement focus to a health-based approach to addressing drug issues in Australia.
There is little doubt that the Government recognises the evidence and value of treating drug use as a health issue.
However, if Australia’s response is to evolve, be agile and truly reflect the current evidence, then there is a pressing need for all governments to also embrace harm reduction as a critical component of their health based response to drug use.
While demonstrating real progress, the recent announcement falls short of this mark.Read more
Special Report by Nick Wallis from Washinton DC
The International Drug Policy Reform Conference was held in mid-November in Washinton DC. It brought together over 1000 attendees representing over 30 different countries. The event was hosted by the Drug Policy Alliance, a US non-profit focused on drug law reform grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights. The conference was certainly a melting pot of ideas for those seeking policy reform, but it was also clear that much that needs to be done, with so many still harmed by the policy of prohibition.
"Drug Addiction in Australia" is a fascinating new book by Doctor John Sherman, an addiction specialist who is an expert in the treatment of heroin dependence.
It is based on John’s experience working with heroin addicts in Melbourne over 40 years in specialist clinics in St Kilda and Footscray.Read more