Warning – imminent soft-on-drugs policies danger to public health

Drug Free Australia

Drug Free Australia is reaching out to communities to push back against making Australia’s drug laws even softer than they already are.

Chairman, Major Brian Watters today that he is ‘saddened that too many Australians have been blindsided by those with vested interests in making money out of ‘legal’ drug pushing. For example, Big Marijuana is mirroring the tactics used by Big Tobacco last century, telling us that cannabis is safe to use, especially for ‘medicinal’ purposes. This is far from the truth and flies in the face of current research. Cannabis and other drugs destroy teen brains and are linked to mental health issues including suicide’.

Research Director, Gary Christian added that: ‘In fact, Cannabis has shown to be causal in:

  • 27 cancer types, including the deadliest breast (whereas tobacco is causal in only 14)
  • 70% of pediatric cancers
  • 89 out of 95 birth defects that are tracked in Europe, including being a factor in autism
  • 30% of new psychosis/schizophrenia diagnoses in London annually and 50% in Amsterdam


Drug Free Australia is concerned that, with the Greens’ soft-on-drugs policy and a new cannabis legalisation party in the Senate, Australia can expect a strong push to legalise cannabis for recreational use as well as the decriminalisation of the use of heroin, cocaine, ice, speed and ecstasy.

Mr Christian said ‘DFA is calling on the newly installed Federal Government to seriously consider all stakeholders in this potentially lethal pharmacological direction. Why go down the path of the United States where soft drug policy is causing untold community damage: For example:

  • Colorado legalised cannabis for recreational use in 2013 and within two years cannabis use doubled, along with an almost doubling of drugged driving deaths and hospitalisations
  • While cannabis use was legalised, the black market expanded alarmingly regardless
  • California decriminalised all drugs in 2015 with the result that 40% of residents surveyed said they wanted to leave the State, citing rampant drug use and resulting homelessness as the reason
  • Oregon decriminalised all drugs in 2021 and now it has seen overdose deaths rise from 280 in 2019 to 607 in the first 10 months since the legislation became operative

Drug Free Australia is concerned BOTH LABOR AND THE GREENS HAVE LONG SOUGHT MORE LIBERALISED DRUG POLICIES and it’s likely they will launch these soft on drugs policies quickly.’

Key Facts:

Embargoed until 26 June 2022

June 26 is International Drug Awareness Day

About us:

Drug Free Australia is the peak drug prevention entity within Australia

/Public Release. This material from the originating organization/author(s) may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. The views and opinions expressed are those of the author(s).