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Drugs, substance use and addiction

The evidence is clear: alcohol and tobacco are more harmful than cannabis and a host of other drugs such as MDMA and many psychedelics. Yet strict prohibitions remain on a range of such substances. The distinction between illegal and legal drugs is often arbitrary and informed by prejudice or commercial interests, not evidence or public health concerns. The result is that drug use is made more dangerous and the health, welfare and social costs are increased. This needs to change. 

What we think

  1. Using a criminal law framework to regulate access to drugs and to address substance use in the community increases harm. 
  2. Drug criminalisation creates a black market and hands a monopoly over the drugs trade to unregulated and often unsavoury networks and syndicates.
  3. Drugs policy should be free of moralism or fearmongering, should be evidence-based, and guided by the principle of harm minimisation. 
  4. Problems arising from the misuse of substances should be treated as health and welfare issues.

What we'll fight for

  1. Decriminalise the possession, for personal use, of all currently illegal substances and associated paraphernalia.
  2. Establish a regulated legal market for cannabis, including for recreational use, and use tax proceeds to fund research and programs addressing substance misuse and addiction. 
  3. Allow restricted legal access to drugs including MDMA, ketamine, psilocybin, LSD, DMT, mescaline and other substances that are known to be low risk when consumed responsibly, ensuring that consumers have access to education and support.
  4. In the case of the most dangerous or addictive drugs – including benzodiazepines, heroin, fentanyl, methamphetamine and others – establish safe injecting/usage sites with co-located treatment and social services. 
  5. Allow the restricted legal manufacture of the drugs mentioned in (3) and (4) above, to undercut their unregulated black-market manufacture and supply. 
  6. Expunge the criminal records of anyone convicted for offences related to the personal use or small-scale distribution of drugs. 
  7. Legalise and fund pill testing at festivals and venues where drug use is common. 
  8. Remove restrictions on research into therapeutic uses of psychoactive substances including MDMA, ketamine and psychedelics and boost research funding.
  9. Legalise a regulated market for adult use of nicotine-based vaporisers as a harm reduction measure. 
  10. Immediately repeal public drunkenness laws. 
  11. Triple the capacity of publicly funded addiction and substance use treatment facilities.