Ice has become a national scourge.
Ice has become a national scourge. Thinkstock

YOUR SAY: National Ice Drug Strategy doomed

THE Federal Government's National Ice strategy is doomed to failure before it begins. Similar to the government's National Drug Strategy, it is a strategy of drug reduction not elimination.

The government again, is taking the easy way out. Reduction is just another spin word to say we are doing something, but admit we cannot solve the problem .

Hard decisions need to be made to solve the growing drug problem. However, rather than making those decisions, government is prepared to continue wasting billions of taxpayer's money on forums, consultation, reports, and law enforcement resources to ensure they are perceived at doing something about this issue.

Perceived? A more appropriate would be deceived. The government is duping the Australian public into believing this new National Ice Strategy will solve the illicit drug problem.

Over the past 20 years the government has presented five versions of a National Drug Strategy, and, where are we today.......with a national ice drug epidemic.

So what is the solution?

As a starting point, we must accept the harsh reality that drugs are a market with suppliers and consumers. As long as the demand is there, suppliers will emerge.

If drugs cannot be obtained by legal means, then illegal sources will emerge. Whilst billions of dollars can be made through illicit drugs, criminal activity will continue to flourish.

History has shown, prohibition does not work. The 'drug problem' is, in reality, an assemblage of problems resulting from drug markets that are directly influenced by drug prohibition.

For example, heroin could be obtained by prescription in Australia before 1953, and problems associated with the drug were minimal.

Australia's problems with heroin began after, and not before, the drug was prohibited in 1953.

Michael Palmer a 33 year career police officer, serving as Commissioner for the Australian Federal Police from 1994-2001, and who served as Deputy Chair of the Australian National Council on Drugs recently wrote in the Courier Mail, "Our prohibitionist to illicit drug use is totally broken. It is ineffective and probably always has been"

To resolve Australia's drug problem the Government needs to firstly understand the problem is twofold.

Firstly it needs to address the criminal aspect, in particular organised crime and secondly the health issues related to drug use. Two completely separate strategies are required to resolve the overall problem.

Ironically, resolving the criminal aspect is quite simple yet appears most difficult for government due to their fear of voter reaction.

If the government takes control of the supply of drugs and make them legally available to consumers it will eliminate organised crime and all the inherent issues of illegal drug related matters including, murder, theft, violence, money laundering, etc.

This is not to say government is supporting the use of drugs. It is to take control of drug supply, eliminate organised crime and remove the criminality from end user.

Yes there will be an outcry by the "bleeding heart do gooders". I can hear it now.

Decriminalisation of drugs will lead to more children becoming drug addicts and their lives destroyed by this government decision.

However the facts are, if people want drugs whatever their age they are easily accessible.

Solving the health related issues from drug use is by far more difficult. Smoking has been around for over 100 years and yet it is only recently through education and changes in public opinion are we seeing a reduction in people smoking.

By taking control of the drug supply chain the government will be able to ensure the quality of drugs and reduce the number of deaths from "bad drugs", divert the $1.1 billion law enforcement costs (2011-2012) into drug rehabilitation programs and facilities, use the billions of dollars currently being earned by organised crime for drug educations programs.

Countless papers, forums, debates, articles, and royal commissions have been made into the illicit drug industry yet nothing has changed.

A National Ice Drug Strategy with drug reduction policies as it's cornerstone is an admission of failure. Nothing will change!

No more debates, no more forums no more royal commissions no more inaction. It is time for action. We, as a country must be forthright and courageous to take on a new approach
Let the government know a policy of drug use reduction is unacceptable.



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