The HEMP Party (Australia) today is recovering from the shock of a sudden outbreak of rationality that seemed to be sweeping the Nation’s Capital. Three Federal Parliamentarians – a Green, a Liberal, and one of the critical Independents – have called for our government to reconsider the eternal ‘war on drugs’.
The President of HEMP Australia, Michael Balderstone, warmly welcomed the initiative:
“In June 2011 a Global Commission Drug Policy group that included the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, as well as a whole bunch of former heads of state and experts on drug policy, declared that the 40 year “War on Drugs” has failed. It simply summed up what most of us in Australia already know. Then in April this year the Australia21 think tank released a report saying all the same things. So it’s terrific that some Australian politicians are at last starting to take the issue seriously. At the very least it shows that the impact of the drug war is finally winding its way into the mainstream. And you can be sure the HEMP Party will pull out all stops to get it there when the next election is on. We hope to have candidates across Australia and anyone interested in standing either locally or for the Senate should contact us.”
“That two doctors who are also Federal Politicians, such as the Liberal Mal Washer and the Greens Senator Di Natale, might call for an end to the futile war on drugs is unsurprising really. Virtually every Doctor on the planet knows that the idea of trying to stop people taking drugs using criminal sanctions does not work. But to have the critical independent Rob Oakshot join them is astonishing. The ‘war on drugs’ is now a subject that the Gillard government can’t ignore any longer. Prohibition magnifies crime and it’s time she realised it.”
The Politicians named have called on the Federal Government to ask the Productivity Commission to assess the cost-effectiveness of our long-standing ‘total prohibition’ approach to the use of many drugs and to make recommendations regarding possible alternatives. Senator Di Natale was quoted in The Age this morning as saying ”I’ve lost count of how many MP’s have told me privately we have to change the approach to drugs but won’t speak out.”
“Perhaps now a few more of our politicians will admit to inhaling as well? Lets bring some honesty and integrity back to politics. The public is sure hungry for it. A ‘Drug Summit’ in Canberra along the lines of Bob Carr’s Sydney 1999 summit is a good way to start. Let the experts talk to the politicians on a subject they are far far removed from. They have little idea of what’s going on in the underworld of illegal drugs.”