Will the TGA make nangs illegal this year?

Nitrous oxide - also known as laughing gas or ‘nangs’ - has recently come under scrutiny. The TGA is considering banning nitrous oxide completely, adding it to the list of prohibited substances in the country. This would be a big leap since canisters can currently be purchased over the counter at most convenience stores. We take a look at what has led to this point and what the potential impacts of prohibition could be. 

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Oregon shows decriminalisation is possible with 2 in 3 voting YES

Oregon has just become the first state in the U.S. to decriminalise personal possession, showing the world that criminalisation is harmful no matter what drug is involved. Police will no longer be able to make arrests for small quantities of drugs like heroin, LSD or methamphetamine. This win for health-based drug reform shows that decriminalisation is politically viable.

 

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Rising drug use among Aussie parents while more teens go sober

Young people are often symbolised by an image of binge drinking, drugs and music festivals -  to the point where a Sydney Morning Herald headline last year claimed ‘up to 90 per cent of music fans use drugs’. While police are unlawfully strip-searching young people at music festivals based on these kinds of assumptions, recent statistics show that it’s actually Aussie parents who are increasing their drug use.

 

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Small steps toward decriminalisation may still be possible if NSW Premier can tamp down moral panic

The NSW government seemed to be making progress on the Ice Inquiry when a cabinet leak late last year revealed plans to depenalise personal possession. However, misreporting by the media ignited moral panic that quickly shut down the conversation. There is still opportunity for a small but positive step toward decriminalisation if we can keep an eye on this issue while it’s still live in cabinet. 

 

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Politicians use this technique to win arguments - here’s how to get around it

Prohibitionist politicians have been trying to hijack recent discussions about decriminalising drug use in NSW. Police Minister David Elliott is a good example, and there’s a risk that politicians like him could derail the better intentions of their more moderate and sensible colleagues.

 

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'There is no stereotype': I became an ice addict at the age of 63

I have been the chief executive of several companies and before that was a general manager of the NSW Legal Aid Commission. I am blessed with good health, a loving wife, successful children and staggeringly beautiful grandchildren. And for a short time, from the age of 63, I was an ice addict.

When acquaintances asked me if I wanted to try a pipe of "Tina", I didn’t know what they were talking about. I had never tried drugs, was a social drinker and non-smoker. They were high performing, successful people who were smoking methamphetamine to stay awake and work harder, longer hours. I was exhausted and stressed and before long, I joined them.

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Politicians must find their nerve on sensible drug reform in Australia – not give in to moral panic

All sorts of people, from students to politicians to tradies, use drugs and lead normal lives. For people who experience problems, fear of punishment prevents them from seeking help. Removing the stigma of criminality opens up a space for a fresh conversation and a rational approach. 

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No more arrests for personal drug use - what does decriminalisation look like?

Uniting NSW.ACT has released a landmark discussion paper setting out in detail their proposal for how the laws should be changed to decriminalise drug use. We spoke with Head of Advocacy at Uniting, Emma Maiden, to find out how this paper plans to bring about policy change.

 

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Once upon a time, MDMA was legal - so what changed?

MDMA is being used therapeutically in research trials around the world. And here in Australia, a major government body - the Queensland Productivity Commission - has recently called for the legalisation of MDMA for recreational use. 

 

Currently, there is no country in the world where MDMA is legal, but this wasn’t always the case. MDMA has a history that dates back to its creation in 1912, including a time when it was being sold legally in bars and clubs.

 

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Will Queensland's Labor government adopt recommendations for drug reform?

Last week, the state with the most drug arrests in the nation voted in Labor’s Anastacia Palaszczuk for a third term. This will be the government to determine drug policy in Queensland for the next three years. With the Queensland Productivity Commission (QPC) supporting comprehensive drug policy reform, what does the election result mean for the future of drug policy in the Sunshine State?

 

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