Wednesday, 5 December 2007

DFA's Report Backfires

I notice on the government funded, Drug Free Australia (DFA) website that they have published an interesting report. Before the election, they claimed they asked the political parties what their drug policies were. As usual, DFA twisted the terminology to promote their ridiculous zero tolerance stance and instead of just asking for a policy they produced this:
Seven weeks ago Drug Free Australia sent a survey to all major parties, asking for their commitment to some key issues related to preventing and reducing illicit drug and alcohol use in Australia. The survey challenged the parties to commit to:
  • a multi-partite, more restrictive approach to illicit drugs 
  • refocussing away from an emphasis on harm minimization to one of greater emphasis on harm prevention. 
  • Not legalising illicit drugs
Last week, due to some generalized responses we followed up by emailing specific questions:
What is your party’s policy position on:
  • medically supervised injecting rooms, 
  • heroin on prescription, 
  • Pill testing at RAVEs, 
  • medical use of cannabis, 
  • cannabis decriminalisation?
We also issued two media releases calling for truth and transparency from parties, allowing time for their correction of any assumption we had made from the past.
From the information we have to date, the following is our assessment of current policy positions of each of the parties.
Don't you love the way they have worded this. The first part challenged the parties to commit to [insert the Libs zero tolerance policy here]. Obviously the survey didn't produce the simple answers that would give them the ammo needed to cry out "they are soft on drugs!!! ... don't vote for them". So they tried again with a more detailed approach: "What is your party’s policy position on [insert evil vote losing policies here].
This is where the hope came in. Labor, The Greens and The Democrats all said they DO NOT support DFA's zero tolerance. At risk of getting caught in DFA's trap, Labor, surprisingly rejected the ideals that are usually seen as voter friendly pushed by the DFA. Though being a bit vague, harm minimisation was their policy and were open to touchy subjects like prescription heroin, medical marijuana etc.
Just a quick side track. Notice the Labor results. DFA have added to Labor results in small bold print, "Past records indicate that Labor: [insert more evil, loose moral policies]".
Illicit Drug Policy
Does commit to a ‘tough on drugs’ stance for all drugs, and a clear message of zero tolerance to illegal drugs
Does acknowledge the dangers of cannabis and Ice and have plans in place to prevent and reduce their impact
Does not support medically supervised injecting rooms, in line with United Nations Conventions and Australian Constitutional Law
Does not condone the legalisation of illicit drugs.
Does not support legalized heroin or cannabis for medical purposes
Does not support pill testing at RAVES
Family first
Does commit to a zero tolerant approach to illicit drugs
Does not condone harm minimization
Does not condone the legalisation of illicit drugs and associated policies.
Does not commit to a zero tolerant approach to illicit drugs.
Does have a general platform of prevention, early intervention and harm minimization, but no details yet provided
Will commit to a campaign to combat ICE, but no details provided.
No current information available about the policy on legalising illicit drugs
Past records indicate that Labor:
Does support medically supervised injecting rooms
Does support legalized heroin or cannabis for medical purposes
Does support pill testing at RAVES
Does support the decriminalization of Cannabis
The Greens
Does not commit to a zero tolerant approach to illicit drugs
Does support harm minimisation
Does condone legalising cannabis for medical purposes
Does not commit to a zero tolerant approach to illicit drugs
Does not favour legalising illicit drugs
Does support medically supervised injecting rooms

Luckily there is a website that monitors DFA called Drug Free Australia Watch Blog
DFA is a dangerous and out of touch organisation fuelled by Howard's 1950's view of Australia. Like the U.S. style "abstinence" approach to teenage sex, it concludes that just saying no will work. Why teach contraception and sex education when teenagers can just abstain. Of course the facts are that teenagers have always and will forever have sex and no amount of moral conviction will stop ALL teenagers bonking. To get their point across, they lie about the failure rate of condoms and try to scare teenagers with horror stories of HIV, STDs and unwanted pregnacies. They do this whilst offering comfort of moral righteousness and family values through abstinence. DFA uses these same techniques and the carnage is paramount. People like myself suffer because these bozzos are pushing their self righteous bullshit on policy makers. In this conservative environment, these liars get taken seriously because they are a safe bet with voters. Hopefully this new government will honour the claim that Rudd made about being a policy based government using science and expert opinion and also religion is a private matter and not part of the policy process.
I read an excellent article about Howard's complete ignorance of science/facts and how his moral views have dictated policy. It examines how Howard was prepared to force his own moral beliefs onto everything including government committees, existing policies and expert groups even though Australia was leading the world to combating major problems like the spread of AIDS. The article also mentions a new documentary on the ABC called Rampant: How A City Stopped A Plague.
You must read this article: Howards Intolerance

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

DFA is the most deluded & childish group of moralists in Australia and after chatting to them on the phone I was convinced they care not for people with addiction. I agree with you Terry, they are dangerous, dangerous, dangerous.
We do not have room for self interest groups with no worldly experience and no understanding of addiction and no genuine desire to help without teacher-child pretentiousness.
Go away DFA and leave this too important subject for the grown ups.