Following outdated and ill-informed views in the recent debate on Fiona Patten’s motion to decriminalise cannabis, the North Metro MLC has established a parliamentary friendship group to look at drug law reform.
“People were groaning when member after member kept getting up to talk about ‘gateway drugs’ and how penalties needed to be increased to protect society. But studies and experience constantly show both those views are wrong.”
Ms Patten points to Colorado in the US which legalised cannabis in 2014. Since then, there has been no rise in crime but the move has created thousands of jobs and a thriving tourism sector.
The Parliamentary Friendship Group for Drug Law Reform will invite experts to provide its members with information on all sides of the debate, as well as visit sites, such as Sydney’s safe injecting rooms, which have been operational for more than 10 years.
“How can we have an informed debate, if the members don’t know what information is out there?”
“This group will address the gulf between outdated views and actual experience and studies.”
Ms Patten is the Chair of the Group, with Colleen Hartland (MLC for Western Metro) the secretary.