The Australian Laywer’s Alliance “Doing More Harm Than Good: The need for a health-focused approach to drug use” report clearly shows that a national approach to harm minimisation is long overdue.
“The legal and medical sectors have been saying for decades that treating drug use as a criminal matter, rather than a health issue does not work”, Australian Greens Health spokesperson Senator Rachel Siewert said today.
“Criminalising drug use does not stop people from using drugs, it exacerbates harm.
“Addiction and substance abuse is a health issue and we as a community need to treat it that way.
“Stigmatising people with punitive approaches rather than addressing the underlying issues only drives people further from the help and support they need and causes further harm.
“If we want to assist people with addiction and substance abuse issues we need to take a harm minimisation approach and penalise dealers not users.
“This report also highlights that people are still struggling to access medicinal cannabis which for many people is one of the few things that give them quality of life.
“People should not be denied quality of life just because the Government hasn’t got their act together to legislate a regulatory model that actually works and means that people can access the treatments they need. ”