Senate debates

Wednesday, 13 February 2019


Illicit Drugs

4:13 pm

Photo of Richard Di NataleRichard Di Natale (Victoria, Australian Greens) Share this | Hansard source

The war on drugs is actually a war on people. The evidence around pill testing is very clear. It has been introduced in many jurisdictions right across the world. Where it has been introduced, it hasn't led to an increase in drug use but what it has done is save lives. If we don't want a mother or father, a brother or sister to get that call at three in the morning informing them that a loved one has died then we have to get real, and the reality is that people are using these substances.

It doesn't matter what anyone in this chamber says—people will continue to use these substances. It's incumbent on us to put in place measures that we know work. The government says it sends the wrong message. Well, a message given by a health professional that says, 'Take this drug and it may kill you,' is not the wrong message; it's the right message. Having an authority say to individuals, 'If you are going to take it, we are going to do it in a way that makes it as safe as possible,' is exactly the message we should be sending people. (Time expired)


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