Today the ACT Legislative Assembly Standing Committee has tabled their report into the Drugs of Dependence (Personal Use) Amendment Bill 2021.
- The report supports drug decriminalisation and endorses a health and harm reduction approach to the use of drugs.
- The report calls on the government to increase investments in the alcohol, tobacco and other drug sector, this report condones the ACT Greens ambitious drug harm reduction policy.
“I am someone who has loved someone who has suffered from substance abuse. That experience had burdened me personally to such a degree that the Greens positions on drug law reform have long been personally challenging” said Johnathan Davis MLA, ACT Greens Spokesperson for Health and Drug Harm Reduction and member of the Select Committee into the Drugs of Dependence (Personal Use) Amendment Bill 2021.
“I know what it feels like to wish those I loved would have ‘just said no’. I’ve come to understand how naive that thinking was, and I’m proud to have come to a more informed place thanks to the frank and fearless contributions of so many who contributed to the committee’s work.
“It is clear that the criminal justice system is not an effective or compassionate method for caring for people with substance use issues. We need a health response in which drug use is destigmatised and anyone who wants support can get it.
“We are calling on the government to support the decriminalisation of possession, with a number of essential and progressive amendments to the Bill before us.
“We are calling on the government to support community-based models of harm reduction. And we are calling on the government to work in collaboration with the drug and alcohol sector to significantly expand rehabilitation and support services.
“The Committee received over 59 submissions and heard from 51 witnesses, over 80% of these representations supported a harm reduction approach to the use of drugs.
“The Committee hosted a community survey during their deliberations which found that the ACT community also overwhelmingly supports health responses for people experiencing issues with substance use.
“The ACT Greens are the only political party with a comprehensive suite of policies to reduce the harm of drugs.
“We are committed to doubling the funding for drug and alcohol treatment services, to support people experiencing issues with drug dependency. I am proud to further this nation-leading policy work today.”