On the issue of the failed ‘war on drugs’ we submitted the following points.

  • Australian Humanist Societies at their national Convention in 1990 endorsed a policy of decriminalizing drugs as an important social aim.
  • In 1996 HSV argued to a Drug Advisory Council of Victoria that drug use should be regarded as a health issue rather than a criminal activity.
  • We expressed support for harm-minimisation efforts like needle exchanges and safe injecting rooms.
  • We noted that social and criminal problems caused by legal substances, alcohol and tobacco, exceeded that caused by illicit drugs. We therefore argued in favour of the decriminalization of all drugs, under strict controls.
  • We are encouraged by recent calls to legalize and regulate drugs from many responsible bodies and people.

    (Letters were sent to Federal and State Ministers for Health and the State Attorney-General.)

    Many thanks to Halina Strnad, former Submissions Convener, for putting these points together.

Rosslyn Ives

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