Thursday, 28 October 2010

Do Politicians Read the Papers?


Over the last few days, several Australian newspapers have published some amazing articles, exposing our flawed drug policies. Each article goes into some detail about the government’s out-of-date mindset where over simplified strategies rule the day. These are intelligent, logical and well researched articles that should be a wakeup call for policies makers both here in Australia and abroad.

But Australia is not the only country that is producing these important pieces with dozens of similar articles appearing every week around the globe. 

UN Investigator Says Drug War Ignores Rights; Can't Cure Dependency
The Associated Press
October 2010

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The UN independent investigator promoting physical and mental health is urging decriminalization of narcotics use, saying punishment and sanctions don’t cure drug dependency.
Anand Grover, a well-known lawyer from India, also says that the war on drugs has ignored drug users’ human rights.

Grover is the UN Human Rights Council’s special rapporteur on physical and mental health.

On Monday he told the General Assembly committee dealing with rights issues that people who use drugs may not get the health care they need for fear of being arrested, or may be denied health care if they seek help.

Compared to just a few years ago, the international media is now full of support for rationalising global drug laws  A quick Google search will list hundreds of articles where respected opinion writers and experts have voiced their concern about the ongoing drug war and the effect it’s having on our society. These articles are not like the once abundant, anti-drug scare campaigns but are insightful and often evidence based. If politicians are used to citing the media to back their "Tough on Drugs" policies then surely they should adapt to include these far more logical articles that are actually based on reality, evidence and facts.

Swiss Drug Policy Should Serve As Model: Experts
By Stephanie Nebehay
October 2010

Switzerland's innovative policy of providing drug addicts with free methadone and clean needles has greatly reduced deaths while cutting crime rates and should serve as a global model, health experts said on Monday.

Countries whose drug policy remains focused on punishing offenders, including Russia and much of Eastern Europe and Central Asia, should learn from a Swiss strategy based on "harm reduction" that protects both users and communities, they said.

Even Iran and China -- while far from espousing Switzerland's system of direct democracy -- have copied its methadone substitution programs, they added.


Anonymous said...

It leaves me feeling more hopeful than I was last night at least. This sort of change is inevitable :)

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Anon.

Bit by bit it changes. Eventually they will look back and wonder how the hell such silly policies lasted so long.