A lot of media has focussed in the last few weeks on the Greens drug policy. If you read the mainstream media, you’d probably be thinking that the Greens are a bunch of pot smoking hippies that want to feed your kids heroin. I won’t stoop to refuting that rubbish – the facts are there to be seen – all Green policies are on the website for all to see. Read them and make up your own mind (like I did a few years ago after inspecting the Green animal welfare policy). I will say that I don’t smoke pot, and that I am keeping all the (prescribed) opiates for myself.
And if you can’t be bothered reading all that – read this message from Lee, sent to me by email because I am on the Greens media alert mailing list. I like to stay informed.
BTW – recently a lot of people have asked me (well, more than three) if I know who the Green candidate is in their electorate. Usually, the answer is no, but if you check out this list, you can look up your local Green candidate in your area. I will have met some of them and though it’s likely that I will have had a favourable impression, I will gladly share it with you if you are interested.
HEALTH PROFESSIONALS BACK GREENS DRUGS POLICY
Please consider forwarding this message to your email address list and help correct the misleading information about the Greens drugs policy.
We write to you to set the record straight about the Greens NSW policy on drugs and harm minimisation and correct the usual pre-election media inaccuracies.
The Greens do not encourage drug use. In particular, our policy aims to eradicate the use of methamphetamines including ‘ice’. We support tough penalties for importers, manufacturers and suppliers. See http://www.nsw.greens.org.au/policies/drugs-and-harm-minimisation.
Prohibition has failed to protect the lives of young people and it has failed to make society safer. The major parties’ policies based on criminal penalties for users have not prevented the growth in ‘ice’ use, dependency and addiction. There are now more than 37,000 regular methamphetamine users and 28,000 dependent users in NSW and the number is growing rapidly.
The Greens want to eradicate ‘ice’. We believe the best way to do this is with significant increases in education to strengthen the resistance of young people to the drug, and new treatment and rehabilitation programs.
Heavy criminal sanctions on users have failed to control the epidemic. And they keep ‘ice’ addicts away from counselling services and treatment programs.
The choice is this: do we want to gaol addicts or do we want to cure them.
The Greens believe that police resources are better focused on the importers, manufacturers and suppliers of ice. We want to destroy the supply chain.
The Greens policy breaks with the bipartisan ‘law and order ‘ approach but it enjoys broad support from public health professionals, with specialist experience with drugs. See below.
The full story on the Greens drugs and harm minimisation policy is available here:
Please pass this email on to interested friends, colleagues and family.
Health professionals on the Greens drugs policy
Dr Alex Wodak, Director of Drug and Alcohol Services at St Vincent’s Hospital, on ABC 702
VIRGINIA TRIOLI (ABC 702 presenter): Do you think the Greens are on the right track here with their [drug] policy?
DR WODAK: Yes, I do. Yes I do…the plain fact is that, whether we like it or not, the war on drugs has failed, and failed miserably.……..[ABC 702 Mornings 15 March 2007]
Dr Fares Samara, MD, FAChAM (Fellow of the Australasian Chapter of Addictions Medicine): “As a specialist in this field, I wholeheartedly support the Green Party’s policy on drugs and congratulate them for their courage and honesty…And also urge the other parties to have the same courage and adopt harm minimisation policies without hesitation.”
Other professionals who back a health approach to drug taking
Professor Gordian Fulde from St Vincent’s Hospital supports the Greens policy: “I’d worry if there was anything done by law that would deter people coming to an emergency department in trouble because they thought they might get arrested or put in jail,” he said. [Seven News: http://au.news.yahoo.com/070314/23/12qry.html%5D
Don Stewart, Retired Judge and Royal Commissioner says about ice: “We’ve got to think more instead of the criminalisation of it, and the criminal approach and trying to stamp it out by penalty and criminal law action, we’ve got to think seriously about a medical approach, more seriously about how we can change things for the better.” [ABC Radio National Law Report 13 March 2007]
Media comment on The Greens’ policy
Peter FitzSimons, Sun Herald: “Saying our drug laws are in urgent need of reform doesn’t make the Greens soft on drugs. It simply means they recognise the truth: the system we have is a hopeless joke and only remains in place because we haven’t had politicians of sufficient courage to do anything to change it.” [The Sun-Herald, p2, 18 March 2007]