3 October 2023

ACT drug decriminalisation an 'absolute disaster', Police Federation CEO says

| Lizzie Waymouth
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“I think we’ll see organised crime and outlaw motorcycle gangs setting up a lot more in the ACT,” Scott Webber told a Parliamentary inquiry. Photo: Royal Australian Mint.

The decriminalisation of small quantities of drugs in the ACT in October was of “grave concern”, the CEO of the Police Federation of Australia has told a Parliamentary inquiry.

“From a policing point of view, we just think this is an absolute disaster. It’s a sheer folly,” Scott Webber told the Joint Committee on Law Enforcement’s inquiry into Australia’s illicit drug problem.

“It’s going to be a drain on resources, not only policing but the community as a whole. The health system is already struggling. We’ve seen that through COVID. This is just another facet that’s going to put more pressure on the community and damage it.

“There are huge issues in regards to health in the ACT Government and I can only see this adding to the burden.”

READ ALSO What can the ACT learn from Portugal about drug decriminalisation?

Mr Webber told the inquiry that decriminalisation was likely to result in a rise in organised crime in the ACT.

“I think we’ll see organised crime and outlaw motorcycle gangs setting up a lot more in the ACT, and why wouldn’t you?” he said.

“You don’t fly down to Canberra to see the nation’s capital, the art gallery and the museums … you fly down there for a party to get on illicit drugs.”

Representatives from the Australian Federal Police and ACT Policing also expressed concerns about organised crime in evidence given to the inquiry last week.

“While there is an appetite to take drugs at whatever level, there’s always going be an element of organised crime,” Assistant Commissioner of Crime Command Kirsty Schofield said.

“It’s a vulnerability, it’s a market, so even if it’s decriminalised … if they still have the requirement to take drugs within organised crime or people importing drugs, there’s still a market there, so unfortunately, wherever they can exploit it, I believe that they will.”

ACT Policing executive general manager corporate Peter Whowell told the inquiry decriminalisation raised concerns.

“Like my colleagues here and my colleagues who’ve given evidence today … we are concerned about the potential for any change in the policy environment, decriminalisation being one of those, increasing any TSOC [transnational, serious and organised crime] activity.”

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Mr Webber was also critical of the ACT Government’s approach to enforcing the new law and said not enough had been done to inform and educate the community ahead of the changes coming into force on 28 October.

“I think a massive outstanding issue is probably the lack of full consultation and education to the community,” he said.

“I mean, I still speak to locals that don’t even know it’s occurring on [sic] 23 October.”

An ACT Health spokesperson told Region the ACT had undertaken “significant work” to ensure the public was well informed about the upcoming changes.

“ACT Health and ACT Policing are working closely together on all elements of implementation of the drug law reform changes,” the spokesperson said.

“Regular meetings occur at multiple levels, and decisions on specific elements are made together, along with input from Canberra Health Services, Justice and Community Safety Directorate, Access Canberra and non-government organisation partners.

“ACT Policing is also working with experts and NGO partners, including the Canberra Alliance for Harm Minimisation & Advocacy (CAHMA) and Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drug Association (ATODA) to develop training focussed on harm minimisation.”

The spokesperson said ACT Health was developing communication material for drug users and the broader ACT community.

“ACT Health will shortly be rolling out a community awareness campaign for the wider community, which will be in addition to the work already undertaken with other directorates, stakeholders and key community groups.”

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Loving the pearl clutching in the comments, I promise you the world isn’t going to collapse like you think it is. Everything is still illegal, police will still fine and confiscate, however courts will be less clogged and people will instead be channelled more efficiently into diversion avenues, which is all the courts do anyway. Criminal convictions are less common at the personal possession level.

Hope you have a good alarm system. You’re going to need it

Clever Interrobang6:28 am 06 Oct 23

Wow, the FUD people are out in force on this comment section. Harm minimisation and harm reduction are good and worthwhile goals

The bikies of Canberra thank you

Even the darling example of drug decriminalisation Portugal has admitted that their model of decriminalisation is no longer a good example to anyone, and that is from the guy that implemented and ran the drug decriminalisation programme for the government since its inception. Though he blames poor funding over policy.

According to very recent reports, Portugal’s overall illicit drug use has increased since decriminalisation, drug overdoses are at an all time high, home burglary and robbery in public areas has increased, used syringes litter footpaths outside schools, and weekend party drug use is amongst the highest in Europe.

The police in Portugal don’t bother intervening when people inject drugs on the streets or in front of schools, and drug users are no longer being directed to rehabilitation as the problem is too overwhelming for the health system and the police have given up trying because it is pointless as most addicts don’t want rehabilitation.

Luckily under the last two decades of GreensLab council rule, Canberra has just had its credit rating upgraded to 6 stars with a quadruple A++ bonus, our hospitals and health services are the envy of the world, and our local police are better equipped and funded than most of the western world combined. Canberra doesn’t need to learn from other jurisdictions mistakes on decriminalisation because our GreensLab councillors are the best and brightest in the world. End sarcasm.

Decriminalisation of drugs will no doubt be a huge success for the minority of drug addicts, drug tourists from interstate, local recreational drug users, drug dealers, and all their criminal associates.

But the rest of us will suffer the numerous societal harms and quite literally pay for it through increased rates, other council taxes, plus higher car and property insurance for this drug decriminalisation insanity in every unpleasant way possible.

Drug prices will probably go up because of the Canberra tax on everything, plus the added benefit that you won’t be caught here because the police no longer have any incentives to care. Ergo resultant crimes to pay for those drugs will also increase accordingly.

And like flies to you know what, many undesirable drug addicts will be drawn from interstate to the stench of decriminalisation here in Canberra, safe in the knowledge they will have free rein in their personal drug and crime sprees.

We can’t even get the potholes fixed in Canberra, so who is going to pick up all the extra filthy syringes dropped in the streets and playgrounds now that drug addicts will be encouraged to shoot up anywhere and everywhere? And we definitely don’t need more drug drivers on the roads.

Well done Canberra. 👏

Canberra’s always been interested in more tourism, and especially for the nightclub and sexwork industries, this should really fire things up. There’ll also be a need for a lot more seedy motels.

Abortion, legal assisted suicide and decriminalisation of illicit drugs. This Greens-Labor ‘Logan’s Run’ government is the party of death.

Linda Seaniger2:16 pm 04 Oct 23

Are we happy about the decriminalisation of drugs in the ACT? NO. Do we voice our concerns YES. But like everything else does our green/labor government listen. NO. They just do whatever they like, pander to the minority interests, and the rest of ACT residents are forced to pay the bill.

If the Police are worried about an increase of organised crime gangs exploiting this, there is an easy solution.

The government should allow the sale of regulated quality drugs to people who want them, the same way that cigarettes and alcohol are sold.

…and when they run out of money and resort to assault and/or robbing people to feed their smack/meth/whatever else habit?

If you had spent any time around addicts, you would know this is a common outcome.

“and when they run out of money and resort to assault and/or robbing people to feed their smack/meth/whatever else habit?”

And this would be different to the situation now how exactly?

Has prohibition been a raging success that has completely removed violent drug crime from our streets?

Or do you think bikie gangs are giving away freebies to addicts?

Obviously my first comment is only part of the solution, the government would also need to pair their legal selling of drugs with additional regulatory controls and support/health services to reduce addiction and get addicts the help they need.

The war on drugs simply doesn’t work. It’s a medical rather than criminal problem.

chewy – “And this would be different to the situation now how exactly?” You jest surely? How does making it easier and less risky for people to supply and use these drugs change the current situation?

If you legalise drug use, do you really think that the addicts will be lining up to “get the help they need”?

The war on drugs has succeeded far more than it has failed but of course, nothing is 100% effective. How many people are alive today because these drugs are dangerous, difficult and risky to get your hands on them?

“How does making it easier and less risky for people to supply and use these drugs change the current situation?”

Surely it is you that are jesting.

You think that people who want to get drugs aren’t already getting them? Legalising and regulating them doesn’t lead to a massive increase in usage. Places that have legalised drugs have not seen higher usage rate because of it. We aren’t talking about selling these drugs at school canteens, they would still be heavily restricted.

“The war on drugs has succeeded far more than it has failed”

Completely disagree, it is one of the worst policy failures of all time, billions each year spent to achieve almost zero except for creating a market for organised crime to flourish.

“How many people are alive today because these drugs are dangerous, difficult and risky to get your hands on them?”

Well other than the fact they aren’t hard to get, I would say far more people are dead because it’s treated as a criminal rather than a health issue. The research shows that prohibition doesn’t lead to lower rates of drug use or deaths.

And if you actually believed your points, you would be calling for prohibition of alcohol which causes significant amounts of violence and criminal activity. Surely banning it would solve the problems.

chewy14 – “You think that people who want to get drugs aren’t already getting them?”

The difference is for most people it is too risky, expensive and dangerous to get their hands on drugs so they don’t try as such don’t get hooked and have their lives and the lives of those around them ruined. This is the value of the war on drugs is that it minimises the number of people who have access to these drugs in the first place due to the reasons that I already mentioned.

Despite your assertions, no for most people getting access to things like meth and heroin are not actually easy and seen as far too much of a risk. Start removing that risk, the drugs become more easily available and far more people will think, “I’ll just give it a try” and we all know how that ends.

Always back to alcohol as a means to manipulate the argument. Alcohol is not designed to be immediately physiologically addictive like these other drugs. If you made the case for banning any nicotine based products then it would make a far better case as it is also immediately physiologically addictive although far less harmful than actual hard drugs. Most people have bottles of alcohol at home, be it wine, spirits or beer without getting addicted, do you think there are a bunch of meth addicts with spare meth just laying around the home?

I guess that’s the difference between you and myself, your posts show very clearly that your opinions are heavily influenced by politics and ideology whereas I like to live in this thing that most people like would refer to as reality.

You’re a Greens voter I would assume?

No my comments show that I live in reality, a reality based on evidence and logic whilst yours just show the knee jerk emotional reaction caused by decades of the ideologically driven “war on drugs” rhetoric.

I’m promoting evidence based solutions whilst you’re pushing the same old failed policy direction.

“You’re a Greens voter I would assume?”

Thanks for the laugh, I assume you are new here. I still find it amusing that I can be called a hard right wing conservative one day here and a Greens voter the next. Really mixing my ideologies up.

Bob, that last sentence of yours surprises me. You, Chewy and I all wrote substantial refutations of the Voice constitutional proposal. So I’d have thought you’d know he’s very unlikely to be a Green.

Here’s another one though. You’ve argued here that reduced availability is important. That’s got to be true, but: we get a lot of social sorting in this society. So if you’re young and in with the behind-the-shelter-sheds group (a better phrase escapes me for now), those drugs are highly available in a way they’re not for everyone else. The drug use goes with the associations you have. It’s a bit chicken and egg, but I’d say you’ve got to have the prior inclination to join that group. If you drag a bookworm kid there, despite the availability, that kid probably won’t fall in for it. They’re on a different track. So I’d say it’s primarily a social thing. Will the BTSS group expand as a result of free availability? Possibly, but not necessarily. Has prohibition worked on the BTSS’s access to drugs? As we all know, not really.

The main argument in the Canberra context is, we’ll get a spike of out-of-towner BTSS types coming in for the novelty of easy drugs. I’m not so sure down the track, because as we know, they access those drugs anyway, in whatever town/city they’re from. Except, as I’ve alluded to in another comment above, hassle-free drug use in nightclubs and brothels could be an enduring attraction.

I would agree with a lot of your last comment, the main problem I have with the proposed approach being taken in the ACT is that it is too piecemeal and the ACT being a small jurisdiction, it could have negative impacts as you’ve alluded to.

I would much prefer a holistic national approach, the ACT Government isn’t known for their ability to successfully deliver in complex policy areas.

chewy14 – You can keep stating that your beliefs are “reality based on evidence and logic” without providing any evidence to back it up but it doesn’t make your assertions remotely accurate.

Go and look at REAL WORLD examples of where drug use has been decriminalised like San Francisco and it’s lines of passed out, drugged up junkies in it’s streets and subways. Look at it’s increased levels of violent crime, burglary and human faeces then tell me how fantastic an idea this is.

There is a good reason why the police fear the repercussions of this utterly stupid decision that was made not with the support of the emergency services, community services or police but by an ideologically driven politician that is far removed from the reality of what they have done.

Any radical policy such as this should have been proposed BEFORE an election so the people of the ACT could have their say on the issue not snuck in between election cycles but they knew very well, the reaction of your average, sane person to this idiocy and here we are.

Bob, I can’t resist commenting about the San Francisco example. It’s not just drug decriminalisation there that has led to that scene you’ve painted. It’s also the effect of court decisions that made it virtually legal to camp in tents on the streets, and the woke “criminals are the real victims” ideology of the district attorney, with sentencing, bail and even arrest now abandoned for property crime and an arbitrary range of violent crime. So they’re in a real cluster mess of progressive policy failures. I don’t think we can realistically say Canberra’s drug decriminalisation by itself will lead to that same outcome. But it’s sure that there’ll be some level of social costs, in terms of antisocial activity and drug overdoses. I’m not sure what our local progressives think the benefits are, that outweigh those inevitable costs. I’ve got a vague recollection though that Amsterdam fairly recently canned their long-standing laissez faire drug policy, i.e. too much cost for whatever benefit.

Rustygear – I can absolutely agree with people on some subjects and be in complete disagreement with them on others as can anyone else. If you look at the polls, the left can barely convince more than half of their own voters for that voice mess so it’s hardly an accurate barometer of likely political affiliation. You would have to admit that the soft on drugs/decriminalisation position is a staple of far left politics though.

My point is that although to a certain group of people, there is far easier access to drugs than others, for the most part, access to these hard drugs is far harder and riskier and therefore puts access out of the casual reach of the average person. The decriminalisation will only serve to reduce the barriers currently in place that separates the mainstream from access to these substances. ANY increased access to these drugs will result in more people trying them and getting addicted to them leading to all the negative results.

“The main argument in the Canberra context is, we’ll get a spike of out-of-towner BTSS types coming in for the novelty of easy drugs”

That may be the main argument of other people but not the one that is more important to people such as myself.

For context, my positions on this are set by several factors:
1) A misspent youth, hanging out with friends that lived in Bernie courts so I have had multiple first hand experiences of watching people turn blue and die before medical help arrives.
2) I have also seen first hand the effects of decimalisation in the real world in San Francisco
3) A family and social circle that works in community service, medical and policing of which NONE of them support this idiocy. If the people that I know who work with the repercussions of drug use on a daily basis all oppose this move then that is more than good enough for me.

Rusty – I bring up San Fran as I went there to visit a friend last year and she convinced me to take the subway. There what looked like hundreds of junkies, off their heads on whatever, some of them covered in faeces and urine lining the side of the tracks. Apparently they go down to shoot up there because it’s cool during the day and warm at night.

I of course questioned 1) Why no-one was doing anything about this and 2) How do they not wander out onto the tracks and go splat in the state they’re in?

Lou responded that after decriminalisation, the police nor the transit cops are allowed to touch them, possession of drugs and obvious public intoxication apparently don’t matter there… and yes, apparently they do fall onto the tracks and get electrocuted or run over on a semi regular basis.

“Progressive” politicians and policies destroy cities.

Bob, I can get that. It’s almost Conquest’s first law: everyone is conservative about the topics they know well.

Cocaine I can understand — a drug of choice for partying young professionals. From their perspective, there’s no need now to worry about being struck off your register. Strange they hadn’t organised that for themselves years ago. Of course you’re supporting obscenely violent drug cartels but what the heck, it’s not a woke issue du jour, so meh.

Heroin is a bit off just to leave at decriminalisation, because unless you provide regulated doses, it’s all up to chance of street supply, with overdose fatalities an inevitable part-and-parcel of that. But the mainstream media will never make anything of the causality, so again, meh.

Green-lighting meth is just crazy: I just think of the serious traffic accidents and assaults. I suppose they’re doing that one because they say meth users are victims: which, yeah, is San Fran logic. If the base of meth users here in Canberra significantly increases, this will be a real progressive policy failure.

numerous places in the world have
decriminalised drugs, and there’s no evidence that this action has caused a marked increase in drug use. The people who want to use drugs already have access to them. Prohibition doesn’t work.
If you want specific “real world” examples, Portugal is the most often referenced. Whilst not perfect, it shows how the harm and costs from drug use can be reduced through a bringing a more health based approach to the issue. They didn’t see a massive spike in usage, drug deaths and the burden on the justice system were significantly reduced.

Despite decades (and tens of billions of dollars) of trying to reduce drug use and harm through law enforcement activities, the impact on overall use in Australia is pretty much non-existent (and actually increasing in many areas). Drugs are freely available to those who want them and their illegality simply allows organised crime to flourish in this space.


If you want me to start linking research papers, I can, but would any of it matter to you? You’ve already said that your personal experiences and relationships with people in direct service areas is enough for you to say it’s not a good idea.

chewy14 – Have you actually read up about how things are going in Portugal? Spoiler: not great.

Maybe some reading would be in order? There you go, from a decidedly left wing source and only a couple of months old: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2023/07/07/portugal-drugs-decriminalization-heroin-crack/

It’s REALLY not all it’s cracked up to be. Then spend five minutes googling how it’s going in other cities like San Fran. From my friend that lives there (for the moment, she’s moving to NorCal to get out of that hell hole) it’s apparently, noticeably worse since I was there.


I could not care less what some academic postulates will be the effect of decriminalisation and selectively picks and chooses sources to insert into their “research” I care about the real world results of places that were stupid enough to try it.

These are the same types of “well educated” academics that are also convinced that communism is a good idea.

yes I have read how things are going in Portugal as well as the rest of Europe. Where drug problems are high and getting worse across the board, mostly still at higher rates than Portugal despite the general prohibition approach in other countries. Or do those other “real world” places not count?

Social problems like drug use have risen across the board since the pandemic and there are significant economic problems in those European areas that also feed into the prevalence of drug use and associated social and criminal problems.

It is important to recognise it is a complex area with multiple variables that can impact overall impacts and outcomes. As you’ve said below, you don’t think drug prohibition is going to stop all drug use, I wouldn’t expect decriminalisation/legalisation to either.

Portugal has still shown how improvements can be gained from taking a more health based approach, the benefits have significantly outweighed the negatives. Although the recent problems you mention also highlights that decriminalisation cannot be attempted in isolation. The approach must include significant ongoing funding for health and support services as well as law enforcement approaches to reduce other forms of crime and anti-social behaviour that may still be linked. Governments can’t use these areas for “easy” funding cuts and expect problems not to increase as Portugal and other countries show from recent reductions in service funding and provision.

“I could not care less what some academic postulates will be the effect of decriminalisation and selectively picks and chooses sources to insert into their “research” I care about the real world results of places that were stupid enough to try it.”

Well I don’t know what to say if you aren’t interested in research that includes assessments of those “real world” areas that have tried it and have improved outcomes. But I would also ask, what you think about the “real world” places that haven’t tried it and have worse
outcomes? Or is a selective approach OK if you’re the one doing it?

It also seems to be pointless in continuing this discussion as you’ve made it plainly clear you wouldn’t change your position regardless of what evidence or research is put forward.

chewy14 – You just (presumably) read several articles that describe where this has been attempted where the police are stating that the drug issues are worse than before implementing decriminalisation and getting worse still…. and your response to this is “but it’s even worse in some other places”? You view that as a win?

Our own ACT police think it’s a terrible idea and will lead to more drug use: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2023-09-06/act-chief-police-neil-gaughan-new-drugs-training-for-officers/102820354

“He said his team had been collecting an “intelligence picture” about what has been occurring in the capital, with that baseline to be compared to a snapshot of what happens after the decriminalisation laws take effect in late October.”

They’re already preparing for their “We told you so” moment.

You have been given multiple real-world examples that show that it has made things worse and yet you are still supporting making the stupid decisions that led to these negative outcomes? You are unable to provide a single case of a real-world implementation that has led to positive outcomes …yeah, I’m out. There is clearly no point in continuing this conversation with someone like you.

I didn’t need to “just” read those articles, they’re months old, I’d already ready them.

But what I also did is read the data and research showing how the overall situation in Portugal on multiple metrics have improved over time. Along with how the outcomes can be impacted by numerous variables including funding for support services which has been recently cut.

Research that I give far more creedence to than articles giving anecdotal opinions of people in direct service roles about how things are “worse” now. When I can just as easily selectively choose articles of people saying it is “better”. Anecdotes arent data. Even your own news link around the Portugal experience has people who think overall it’s better. But of course, they mustn’t live in the “real world”.

You also seem to have read into this that I actually support the proposed ACT laws, which I have never said, I have similar worries that the ACT government are putting these laws in, without a proper holistic approach. But the Police’s worries about organised crime which was the focus of my original comment is actually a symptom of the prohibition approach they support. The Police in this situation are hammers, all they see are nails.

“You are unable to provide a single case of a real-world implementation that has led to positive outcomes”

LOL, so when given a real world example of positive outcomes, you’ve found an article where some people said its bad, despite the overall outcomes still being positive, with reduced drug use and addiction when compared to European drug problem as a whole.

The vast majority of the USA still has prohibitive drug laws yet have seen increasing drug use, deaths, drug related crime for decades. Yet you want to pick one city as an example of the effects of decriminalisation without looking at the outcomes in the rest of the country under a prohibition approcah?

I suppose that’s what happens in the “real world” when you ignore actual research and data to solely listen to people who agree with your predetermined position.

I can’t actually believe that you originally accused me of ideological bias with what youve subsequently dished up. Too funny.

The regime treat us like mugs.

Decriminalisation of hard drugs is a major change to our town, so this change should have been put to the people as part of an election campaign before implementation. Instead, they sneak it out between election cycles in the hope it won’t cost them any votes.

Also, the Minister for Health and the Minister for Justice should be out explaining to the public how this change will work. Instead they leave it to some anonymous Health Department spokesperson to deliver a “nothing to see here” statement.

It sends the wrong the message to our children that the government doesn’t think drugs are bad. But of course our chief minister doesn’t even have children so what would he know.

The government allows the sale of many drugs for both therapeutic and recreational use.

Of course they don’t think drugs are bad and why on earth would you want them too.

chewy14 – Sure… cigarettes, alcohol, meth, oxy, heroin. It’s all the same thing with the same degree of harm right?

I sometimes wonder exactly which world some people live in to lead them towards their stated conclusions.

“It’s all the same thing with the same degree of harm right?”

Can’t see where I said that anywhere.

“I sometimes wonder exactly which world some people live in to lead them towards their stated conclusions.”

Fully agree with you, some people even believe that drug prohibition works for example.

chewy – “Of course they don’t think drugs are bad and why on earth would you want them too.”

If you don’t think that a great many of these hard drugs are absolutely terrible, you must have led a truly sheltered life.

“Fully agree with you, some people even believe that drug prohibition works for example.”

It absolutely works to discourage access to the kind of drugs that I discussed earlier. Without this control, how many more people do you think would be addicted or dead.

It’s like gun control, does it stop ALL gun crime and serious, gun related accidents? No, but it GREATLY reduces the incidents. I don’t see anyone advocating for removing gun control because it’s not 100% effective.

I would suggest it’s you who has lived a very sheltered life if you think people who want drugs don’t have access to them right now.

As for the comparison to guns, firstly similar to drugs, people who really want them still have them. Guns aren’t addictive and they arent often manufactured by bikie gangs using mostly readily available materials in backyard labs.

One of the reasons why the war on drugs has failed so miserably is because they cannot easily be controlled or limited through law enforcement activities.

Hi Bob, gun control restricts access to firearms, doesn’t make them illegal. In a perfect world, drug addicts would have to register, receive treatment and then receive supervised doses free of charge and legally. The illicit drug trade would soon dry up. Very few drug addicts choose to be that way, a large number of them are self medicating to overcome past trauma, in much the same way that alcoholics do – legally.

chewy14 and theberra – Tell me you have never actually spent time around drug addicts without telling me you have never actually been around drug addicts.

Your “perfect world” does not and will not ever exist. We live in the real world and in the real world your world view is both incorrect and dangerous.

The police are worried about what is going to happen with this… you know the people who literally spend EVERY DAY dealing with the repercussions of people addicted to these drugs… but I am sure you know far more than them on this subject right?

“Tell me you have never actually spent time around drug addicts without telling me you have never actually been around drug addicts.”

Bzzzzz. Sorry completely wrong, I’ll take the rest of your comment as being as informed as that statement.

You claim the police are concerned about this because they spend a lot of time around drug addicts.

You know who spends more time around them? Health professionals. You know the people that don’t support the criminalisation approach that is driven by prohibition.

Along with all the scientific research showing that it doesn’t work and that there are far better approaches to take to minimise the harm caused by drug use and addiction.

Using your own words:

“but I am sure you know far more than them on this subject right?”

chewy14 – “Bzzzzz. Sorry completely wrong, I’ll take the rest of your comment as being as informed as that statement.”

Your comments certainly seem to suggest that you may have read some agenda driven “research” into the subject but the real world reality is very different.

“Along with all the scientific research showing that it doesn’t work and that there are far better approaches to take to minimise the harm caused by drug use and addiction.”

You keep stating this as a fact, you keep stating things like “Health professionals. You know the people that don’t support the criminalisation approach that is driven by prohibition.” without any actual evidence to back it up.

Here’s the problem with the internet, you can find random quotes from people to support ANY different position and people will simply pick and choose the ones that support their biases. Given my social circle and family includes health professionals, community services and police, I will take their real world experiences over something that I have read on the internet any day of the week.

Unfortunately Bob I have spent a lot of time (30+ years around drug addicts.)
As for your comment about the police being worried, this is a quote from ACT Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan “Deputy Commissioner Gaughan also confirmed today that police rarely charge people caught with small amounts of illicit drugs, even prior to the new laws coming into effect.

“We very, very, very rarely arrest people and charge them for small possession of drugs, it happens maybe 20 times a year, so it’s not a significant issue for us,” he said. I’m guessing he knows more about the subject than you.

Here’s more quotes from the same top cop – ACT Chief Police Officer Neil Gaughan who seemed quite concerned about decriminalisation:

“He said there had been training for police who were stationed in Braddon and the city, with officers warned about changing their attitudes to drugs.”

“They’re probably going to see people take a line of coke, where historically, they may have intervened, [but they’re] probably not going to now.”

“He said he anticipated the changes would prompt more people to take drugs.”

“And geez, I hope I’m wrong. I hope we don’t see an increase”

“And I am concerned about people trying drugs who haven’t historically done it because there will be confusion, particularly for young people.”

“I think it would be really naive to think people aren’t going to come to Canberra and try something different.”


theberra – this is the problem when you attempt to selectively and dishonestly quote someone to try and mislead. I was going to post some more of his quotes that show indisputably that he thinks it’s a terrible idea and will lead to more drug use, including by those that never would have tried them previously but nothappyjan beat me to it.

Also, I have friends and family that are cops and lets just say, they are NOT fans of the proposal… although they used far more colourful language to make their position clear on the proposal and the politicians who are sneaking this in mid election cycle.

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