HSV Submissions – December 1995

Illicit drug use in Victoria

Submitted 21 December 1995 to the Drug Advisory Council

HSV responded to the call for submissions from the recently formed Drug Advisory Council in Victoria to inquire into the drug problem.

Main points, drawn from our much discussed and established policy on drugs, were that:

  1. current prohibition is ineffective in drug use control.
  2. it creates large industries of trafficking with vast untaxable profits.
  3. it creates opportunities for corruption in law enforcement agencies.
  4. much ill health is caused by the adulterated products sold.
  5. the immature, the disaffected and the unemployed among us use drugs to escape from their harsh reality. They often resort to theft to support their habit and become locked into the underworld.
  6. this selective prohibition cannot be supported on rational grounds. The prevalence of alcohol and tobacco abuse far exceed that of the illicit drugs and the resulting health costs are far greater.
  7. a serious problem is created among the intravenous drug users by the practice of sharing needles and syringes. The spread of HIV so acquired threatens the whole community.

We suggested that:

  1. all drug use be decriminalised;
  2. marijuana be marketed and sold as a highly taxed luxury item to adults only;
  3. special clinics supply heroin addicts with reasonably priced methadone or heroin and, without obligation, also offer treatment and rehabilitation;
  4. free sterile needles and syringes be available to intravenous drug addicts who are able to use methadone;
  5. intensive educational campaign at all levels of schooling and community to inform of the danger of all substance abuse and present the overuse of mood-altering substance as a weakness, an inability to function without props;
  6. advertising of alcohol and tobacco be banned at all venues;
  7. large scale research be undertaken into the social and personal causes of addiction.

Published: Victorian Humanist, Feb. 1996: 10

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