Drug Law Reform Australia

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Drug Law Reform logo.jpg

Drug Law Reform Australia is a registered political party in Australia.[1] The aims of the party are to create a new regulatory system for illicit drugs in Australia, and influence the political debate around drug use towards decriminalisation and harm minimisation. The party is the outshoot of community groups lobbying elected politicians about the social effects of criminal drug prohibition, such as the community group Family and Friends of Drug Law Reform and social campaigners Unharm.

Foundation[edit]

Greg Chipp, son of Australian Democrats' leader Don Chipp, co-founded the party with other law reform activists in 2013 to encourage a debate about changing policy to focus on public health approaches to drug abuse, reducing stigma and criminal ramifications for people who are addicted to illegal substances. The party registered with the Australian Electoral Commission in July 2013.[2]

Policy context[edit]

In 2010, Australia’s drug law enforcement budget was $1.1 billion.[3] Around every ten minutes someone in Australia is arrested for a drug violation - 112,049 arrests in 2013-14.[4]

National Drug Strategy 2016-25[edit]

The draft National Drug Strategy 2016-25 reported that "during the period of the National Drug Strategy 2010-2015, evidence informed demand, supply and harm reduction strategies yielded positive results". However, the same draft strategy informs that in 2011-12, police made 76,083 drug seizures; the highest number of drug seizures in the last decade. The same year, 809 clandestine laboratories were detected nationwide; the highest number ever detected in Australia. In 2012-13, police made the second highest number of detections ever at 757. The report did not comment on whether this is due to an increase in police activity or drug availability. There is also no reference to harm caused by legislation or any indication of a review of drug laws. The new strategy is to operate for the next 10 years, to 2025, without questioning the underlying criminal punishment approach to illegal drug use.[5]

2013 Federal election[edit]

The party contested the September 2013 federal election three months after the party's official registration, with candidates in several jurisdictions (Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory). Candidates received over 10,000 primary votes nationally in aggregate, but did not win any seats in the Australian Parliament.[6]

2016 Federal election[edit]

Drug Law Reform Australia is still a registered political party and is seeking funds to contest the next federal election in 2016.

References[edit]

External links[edit]

See also[edit]