2020 Election: ACT Greens release major Drug Law Reform package to help end war on drugs

Australian Greens

The ACT Greens will today unveil a commitment to substantially reform the way drug use and dependency is dealt with in the Territory.

This evidence-driven platform further shifts the balance from treating problem drug use through the criminal justice system, to treating it through health and community support.

The Greens Drug and Alcohol Harm Reduction Plan will reduce harm from drug use, increase supports for people with drug dependency issues, and support and enhance medicinal drug use.

Highlights of the package include:

  • Immediately doubling funding for drug and alcohol treatment services to $40 million per annum, thereby dramatically reducing long wait times for rehabilitation and detoxification services
  • Helping keep more young people safe, by delivering routine pill testing on weekends in central Canberra and ensuring that alcohol and drug testing available at Canberra clubs, venues, gigs and festivals
  • Piloting a safe drug consumption site – an ACT first
  • Delivering a First Nations-led dedicated community controlled medical withdrawal and rehabilitation service – for community, by community
  • Increasing access to medicinal cannabis and improving the current medicinal cannabis scheme
  • Better addressing mental health and drug issues at the same time
  • Investing in world-leading psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy trials
  • Enhancing drug diversion pathways to keep more people out of the criminal justice system, and give those in need support to move away from drug dependency.

Comments attributable to ACT Greens leader Shane Rattenbury:

“Addressing harmful drug use in our community is not just about spending more, it’s about spending differently.

Most of us have known someone who has had their life damaged or destroyed by substance abuse, and often it’s the way their drug or alcohol use was treated – or the way it wasn’t treated – that turns a bad situation into a worse one.

The status quo simply isn’t good enough – we have to deal with this issue differently if we want better outcomes.

We can reduce the often life-changing interactions people have with the police, legal and criminal justice systems by investing in community-led programs that support people in need, and that’s exactly what our Greens plan will achieve.”

Comments attributable to ACT Greens campaign spokesperson for Drug Law Reform Rebecca Vassarotti:

“The Greens initiatives centre around people and aim to boost support for people, meeting them where they are at. When people demonise drug use, they often forget we are talking about people – someone’s son or daughter, their husband, mother, friend. Our initiatives instead aim to ensure that people don’t die or suffer irreparable harm, because they make a poor choice or don’t have enough information.We want to stop the current situation where people are unwilling to seek support when they need it because of fear, stigma and shame.

“The Greens are committed to building a Better Normal out of the COVID crisis – and reforming how we treat, and talk about, harms from drug use is just another way the Greens are committed to making a better future – for all of us.”

Read the full package → greens.org.au/act/reducing-harm-drugs-alcohol

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