More culture war bullshit

By October 20, 2023Australian Politics, Society

In late 2022, the Australian Capital Territory’s (ACT) Legislative Assembly passed laws which will lead to a radical change in drug laws when they come into effect this month. These laws mean that if someone is caught with drugs within an allowable amount in the ACT, they will not face the prospect of gaol or having a criminal record1.

Being caught with such drugs will constitute an offence, like speeding in a car, and will incur penalties, and confiscation of the drug, but will not be a criminal offence. Instead of going to court and perhaps gaol for up to two years, people with small quantities of heroin (1 gram), LSD (0.001 grams) and methamphetamine, cocaine, magic mushrooms and MDMA (all 1.5 grams) would be directed to an information session or, if they so choose, pay a $100 fine. Drug dealers would still go to gaol2.

As with most progressive changes, the ACT is the first jurisdiction in Australia to make this advance. However, one cannot be too smug about this progress, because Portugal decriminalised drugs over two decades ago. What they found was that there was no explosion of drug use after decriminalisation. Indeed, the number of heroin addicts declined by 75%, while overdose deaths dropped dramatically (by 80%) as did Human Immunodeficiency Virus infections (by 94%)3.

It almost goes without saying that the regressive buffoons in the Liberal Party are foaming at the mouth in opposition to this drug law reform. The patently idiotic Michaelia Cash, often seen marching around parliament house or skulking behind a whiteboard, was interviewed by The Canberra Times and denied that the Coalition was keeping a “special eye” on the ACT in the lead up to the next territory election. No, of course not (sarcasm font). She said that the coalition wanted to send a clear message that they are “tough on drugs”. She added “This is not about territory rights. It’s about saving lives. Quite frankly, the new ACT drug laws, they do beggar belief”4.

This is a patent lie. The coalition are not about saving lives and never have been. If they were concerned about people’s lives they would welcome the ACT’s legislation, because it will probably save lives, if the Portugal experience is anything to go by. The coalition are only ever about politicking, not about what is best for the country or for its citizens, and least of all saving lives. This is just another one of the Coalition’s culture wars designed to harvest votes from the gullible who will be stupid enough to believe the bovine ordure Michaelia Cash spouts.



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