The party chose the time and venue to coincide with the international drug protest rally — an event organized entirely on social media networks.
Sex Party president and candidate for the Northern Metro Region, Fiona Patten and Sex Party candidate for Burwood, Eamon Cole-Flynn addressed the meeting.
Patten said that last Tuesday’s record cannabis seizures were proof that prohibition did not work and that the war on drugs in Victoria was an unwinnable war against an invisible enemy.
“Senior judges like Ken Crispin QC have stated categorically that drug use has exploded as a direct result of this approach,” she said.
“Drugs like heroin and cocaine are now cheaper and more easily available than they were before this phoney war was started. Around the world the inescapable evidence is that those countries who prosecute personal possession of drugs the most, have the highest rates of usage.”
By comparison she said the use of tobacco was declining because it was legal and could therefore be incorporated into government heath care programs and advertising.
“The Sex Party wants the Victorian government to adopt the drug policies of countries like Portugal and Switzerland where the administration of drugs is taken out of the criminal justice portfolio and placed into the health one,” she said.
“Since Portugal decriminalized personal possession of drugs in 2001, drug usage rates have not increased at all but amazingly, sexually transmitted diseases like AIDS and deaths due to drug use have plummeted,” she said.
She said that 82 percent of drug arrests in Australia were for personal possession and that 70 percent of people in Australian jails were there for some kind of drug related crime.
Patten said Victoria should be the first state in Australia to legislate for medical marijuana.
In the U.S. there are now 14 states which offer government approved cannabis for pain relief and other medicinal uses.
“Victoria could afford a decent public transport system on cannabis revenues,” Patton said.