Senate debates

Wednesday, 24 November 2021


Illicit Drugs

1:48 pm

Photo of Jordon Steele-JohnJordon Steele-John (WA, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

[by video link] Whether the major parties like it or not, people choose to use drugs. It is up to the people in decision-making spaces to decide how we manage that reality and to craft policy that meets that reality, not to ignore it. The Greens believe it is time to take a health based approach to drugs policy. What this looks like in practice is, first of all, the full legalisation, regulation and taxation of cannabis; the federal funding of pill-testing facilities across Australia so that, when people make a decision to take a pill, they have the opportunity to know what is in it; and a doubling of the national funding for alcohol and other drug rehabilitation services.

All these elements are at the centre of the Greens' health based approach to drugs policy that I was very proud to launch a couple of weeks ago. This meets the reality of where the community is at and focuses on getting people the help and the contact with health professionals that they need when they use drugs—when they make that choice. This policy clearly and proudly rejects and moves away from the old idea of prohibition that has been championed by the major parties relentlessly for decades, in the face of all evidence to the contrary. This policy is supported by medical experts across the board as well as by people that work in law enforcement institutions because so many of us know— (Time expired)