Leader of the Reason Party and Member for the Northern Metropolitan, Fiona Patten, has welcomed the release of the Global Commission on Drug Policy’s 2020 report, Enforcement Of Drug Laws Refocusing On Organized Crime Elites.
The major report highlights how prohibition has weakened social structures in the community and entrenched power within criminal organisations. It paints a stark picture. In the last decade, hundreds of thousands of people have died as part of the collateral damage of government-enforced prohibition. The deaths represent the price that must be paid for a drug policy that has simply enriched and empowered criminal groups and fuelled corruption and money laundering.
“The war on drugs isn’t working. The report shows that in fact its making everything worse”, Ms Patten said.
“Crackdowns by law enforcement only brings new players into the market and makes illicit drugs even more dangerous. The only plan that our leaders and agencies seem to have is to spend more money on policing and arresting more people in the hope that this will reduce drug consumption and weaken criminal organisations. This report clearly shows that this is simply not happening and has never worked in the past.”
“If Covid has taught us anything it is to listen to experts and avoid politicising a public health issue. This is a report from some of the most eminent people in the world, including former world leaders. Australian governments should be paying attention to this now.”
Illegal drug markets provide an immense source of power and revenue for organised criminal groups. That has remained the case despite the vast investment of political, financial, social, and military capital into the global ‘war on drugs’. Far from curtailing drug markets, they are expanding in scale and complexity worldwide. Repressive criminal justice and military responses to drug trafficking have exacerbated the already profound impacts of drug-related organised crime. The report outlines prolific violence in certain states, increased corruption and the undermining of political and economic stability.
“This tenth report by the Global Commission highlights the need for a coordinated response to transnational organised crime syndicates as it relates to drug markets and bold drug policies,” said Ms Patten.
“If governments are serious about reducing the harms of drugs then they must act on all five of the report’s recommendations. This will not only save Australian lives but help save of the lives of thousands of people globally.”
You can access a copy of the report here.
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