It's a funny feeling when you're in a club and you realise your friends have disappeared. It was 1998 and I was nineteen. One of them had an anxiety condition, a benzo addiction and a habit of wigging out on ecstasy. It didn't take me long to join the dots.
Drug prohibition and the criminalisation of people who use those drugs might seem like it's been around forever but most Australian drug laws are relatively new.
This brief acccount of the history of Australian drug laws was written by NSW lawyer Steve Bolt in 2010 and is adapted from text originally published in Hot Topics: legal issues in plain language, No. 59 Drugs and the Law published by the Legal Information Access Centre (LIAC).
It’s one year til game time! Delegates from around the world will convene on April 19 2016 for a United Nations Special Session on drugs and drug policy. It should be a ripper. So what can and can't we expect?
There's increasing awareness that many of the greatest harms of global drug policy are borne in the developing world. In a timely article in the lead up to the UN General Assembly on drug policy in 2016, Gerad Collingwood looks at the way drugs and drug policy have undermined democracy and development in Myanmar, enriching a tiny elite while compounding the disadvantage and suffering of some of the poorest members of society.
If saving lives isn't enough, there are many more arguments for safe injecting centres. Unharm co-founder Lisa Pryor reflects on her recent experience working at the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre.
The death of a nineteen year old man a A State Of Trance a fortnight ago was the third dance party death in Sydney in the last 18 months. ‘All that we can do is to keep on running drug dog operations,’ NSW Police Assistant Commissioner Frank Mennilli said in the Police press conference following the event. ‘Because drug dog operations saves lives, they really do.’
Drug use is common, drug addiction is rare. [In the UK] about one adult in three will use an illegal drug in their lifetime and just under 3m people will do so this year in England and Wales alone. Most will suffer no long-term harm.Read more
Johnboy Davidson (pillreports.com) on the history of pill testing and the future of drug checking.Read more
The death at Harbourlife this weekend is a tragedy from any angle but it’s the parents that I think about the most. About three thousand Australian parents had a child die of drug overdose this year. It’s higher than the road toll. When I hear stories like this one I look at my kids. My gut feels it but my mind can’t even.Read more
Ross Gittins has told us that the War on Drugs has more to do with economics than we might think. There is much more to it than his own analysis would suggest.Read more