Australian Sex Party Wants to Decriminalize Drug Use

BRISBANE — The Australian Sex Party has released its drug platform, which includes a proposal to release jailed drug addicts.

The organization said the plan would save the nation billions of dollars through misplaced enforcement priorities.

Launching what the party calls its “revolutionary drug law policy” party president and Victorian Senate candidate Fiona Patten said the party would push for the decriminalization of personal drug use if it won a seat in federal parliament.

The policy calls for the decriminalization, not legalization, of possession and consumption of drugs for personal use, up to a quantity of up to 14 days' supply for one person.

It also seeks to legalize the use of cannabis for specific medical uses and the prescription of heroin to registered users.

Paul Wilson, a professor of criminology, endorsed the idea and said that evidence from other countries suggests that the “war on drugs” had been lost and that new strategies had to be looked at by Australian governments.

“Four royal commissions have shown strong evidence of widespread corruption in the policing of drugs,” he said. “The total tangible costs of illegal drug abuse for 2004-5 for crime-related activities [police, courts, prisons, violence, insurance] is $3.8 billion which is acknowledged as an ‘under-reported’ figure.

“82 percent of drug arrests were for possession and that this represented a terrible waste of police resources. More than 50 percent of police detainees report obtaining illicit drugs prior to their arrest,” Wilson said.

“Tobacco is a legal drug whose use is declining precisely because it is still legal and users are more amenable to government control, education and taxation.”

Patten said that both Labor and Liberal parties had ignored social policy issues in the election campaign because they were afraid of a conservative backlash.

“They would rather bury their heads in the sand than face up to a problem at home that is bigger than asylum seekers,” she said.

“The absolute failure of governments to deal with drug abuse in Australia is a failure to address the biggest social infrastructure problem that Australia has.”


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