IS DE-CRIMINALISING DRUGS FOR PERSONAL USE THE WAY FORWARD?

BUSTEDI heard there was some sort of Australian Sex Party out there thanks to Adelaide agency Fnuky’s cheeky 2010 election campaign for them, aptly titled Jerk Choices.

Although I naively thought at the time that they might be a bunch of randy people whose mission it was to have us all propped up at strip shows or running around nude at the beach.   Why they’d want us nude at the beach, I don’t know!

So when I met a smart young man recently who insisted I must meet his friend Fiona Patten, a member of the Australian Sex Party, I was a little intrigued.  Intrigued to think he saw more sex in me than I have seen in myself, but as they say sex sells and I was on board for an introduction.

I walked into our meeting place; eyes darting around to see if I could guess who looked the most like a ‘sex party ‘candidate.

And far from being what my naïve self may have presumed seeing, woman in tasselled bikini top waving a copy of FHM at me, an elegantly dressed lady smiled across at me and I decided that if anyone was looking sex party, whatever that even means, it was probably more me.

Fiona is clever and committed and just happens to be passionate about a lot of things that relate to sex and the Adult Entertainment industry. Which I might add, is far broader than just vibrators and sex workers, people.

So many questions, so little time.

Understanding the word sex is guaranteed to get attention and hence having it in your party name is going to get you talked about, she knows that, however after learning more about their policies, I wondered whether it might also overshadow the seriousness of some of their major policies which I was genuinely very impressed with.

For instance, their stance on drugs and abolishing crime penalties for people found purchasing, carrying and consuming drugs for personal use – which as a headline might not sound like a great idea but dig a bit further and there is merit to its’ premise.

Using Portugal as an example, a country well known for its’ drug issues in the past, especially hard core drugs, who in 2001 became the first European country to officially abolish all criminal penalties for personal possession of drugs, like marijuana, cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine.

Under Portugal’s laws now people found guilty of possessing small amounts of drugs are sent to face a panel which comprises a psychologist, a social worker and a legal adviser who put them under what I see as a healthy interrogation to find out the depth of the drug use firstly, but with the aim getting to the real root of the problem, which isn’t always about the drugs.
Fiona herself visited Portugal and was privy to the process first hand.  She witnessed one particular young man who rather than actually having an issue with drugs as such, through the non-judgemental and thorough panel discussion, admitted that he only did the drugs after consuming alcohol.

Upon further investigation, with questions regarding to how often he was going out for a drink and all the steps that lead up, this was simply a man with a temporary drink problem that drank because he was lost.  He didn’t have enough of a sense of purpose by way of a job, so there became the starting point of fixing his drug issue, and all the dark dots in between.

Not rocket science but just the acknowledgement by a progressive government that ironically accept that working backwards often leads to the real issue.

The problem with most people that make laws and decisions about drugs is that they are made by people who have never done drugs.

They know a lot about what’s popular opinion but their mission should be about helping people in society that are beginning to get off course, not treating them like they are already at The End.

DOES THIS POLICY MAKE SENSE TO YOU?  lOVE TO HEAR YOUR THOUGHTS

18 thoughts on “IS DE-CRIMINALISING DRUGS FOR PERSONAL USE THE WAY FORWARD?

  1. Geof Tartoosie No. People can’t take legal drugs properly & without abusing them. How would they manage other drugs. How many brain fried people go to hospitals now & drugs are illegal, the number would skyrocket if illegal drugs were made legal. Who sets what’s personal use? One cone a day or one cone an hour? Minefield there….
    33 minutes ago · Like

  2. Dennis Sharland Drugs are a social problem with a criminal element, not the other way round. Well it needs fixing ad Its not solution focused .
    about a minute ago via mobile · Like

  3. Amber Petty the thing is, drugs will never be fully stamped out, and are arguably not as dangerous in a broad term as cigaretttes and alcohol. The latter two have ruined and killed more people hands down than drugs. Yes drugs are still an issue however, I know an enormous amount of people that either do a small amount of drugs and have done for years and never ever had a problem with them by way of turning into a junkie type thing, and I also know a lot of people that used to take drugs when they were younger, or a bit lost….partying to distract themselves, and again , they are fine now. However what would have happened if they had been caught, which clearly doesn’t happen much anyway, and then ended up in the criminal system being forced to admit that drugs were their issue. Drugs may have been ONE of their issues but take the drugs away, and their problems would still have existed. That’s why I think there’s some merit to this concept because I’m all about spending the time and money on the root cause, not a symptom of the cause….if you know what I mean..? thanks for your thoughts guys. Appreciate it

  4. G Sacramento Posted at 5:40 AM July 11, 2012
    The rather asinine idea that you cannot prevent degradation before being part of it is also probably one of the problems in moving forward. I think all heart surgeons should have had to have had a heart attack before being allowed to operate???????? Maybe learning and using this knowledge moves society forward not the going a round in a circle this Petty author advocates.
    Comment 1 of 12
    KenAdelaide Posted at 7:21 AM July 11, 2012
    So why was the majority of the article about drugs given the party’s main platform is sex issues?
    Comment 2 of 12
    Scoot of Evanston Park Posted at 7:44 AM July 11, 2012
    Amber, We already have the drug related system similar to Portugals here in SA, if you are found in possession of a small personal amount of any of the nominated illicit substances you get drug diverted. Drug diversions gets to you referred to a nominated self help agency. If you dont show you get referred back to the criminal system.
    Comment 3 of 12
    Anymouse of West Lakes Posted at 7:50 AM July 11, 2012
    Amber,if you have a $500 a day smack habit, how do you fund it? On a normal income you cannot, it is the crime that you commit to maintain that habit that is the problem. But again you haven’t done your homework,have you ever heard of the drug court and how it works? or even the diversion program? Amber, you embarrass yourself
    Comment 4 of 12
    pt Posted at 7:59 AM July 11, 2012
    Policies Plural ????? Please, stick with what you know.
    Comment 5 of 12
    Renie of Brompton Posted at 9:51 AM July 11, 2012
    I agree Amber, they actually have some great ideas for legislation. Unfortunately, they should have a re-think on the name of the party. Like you I thought it was good times until I heard one of the members on the radio last year. I was impressed! Thousands of others who may have been listening should have been as well. We need parties that offer us the opportunity to look at things logically and with no hidden agendas and this is the party that I found were the most honest. Time for change people, may be not as the leading representatives in our fair (scoffs) city but as a preference vote at number 3 behind Mr.X it could hold the ‘bastards’ to ransom!
    Comment 6 of 12
    Eliana Truscott of Highbury Posted at 10:11 AM July 11, 2012
    You don’t find the platform connection between personal drug use and prostitution a little concerning? The sex worker PR machine swears that they are empowered uni girls putting themselves through school on their back, not vulnerable crack addicts. Sounds a little disingenuous to me.
    Comment 7 of 12
    John Buckkley of Blackwood Posted at 11:11 AM July 11, 2012
    Well done Amber on highlighting the common sense approach of this party which after looking at their website has some great and logical ideas. I think unfortunately however that the name of the party may make life a little difficult for their aspirations to be met. I agree with much of what they advocate. I find it rather shallow, acid and unfortunate when people comment on a personal note as some of the previous writers have.
    Comment 8 of 12
    angryofhawthorn Posted at 11:15 AM July 11, 2012
    They do have some good policies. I wish the libertarian type parties would unite to create a viable option to the current 3 running the nation. Those not wishing to be “nannied” by government would at least have representation. Heck, I might even return to live in my once great nation!
    Comment 9 of 12
    Eric Oz of PARADISE Posted at 11:36 AM July 11, 2012
    Everything that has been tried to stop drug use has failed! We now are facing a huge increase in Fetal Addiction Syndrome as our Mental illness figures show and our governments still do nothing!! Oh , sorry, yes they are trying to give us cleaner air to die in. We need policies like the Sex Party has suggested as these have an immediate affect within society for the good of everyone.
    Comment 10 of 12
    Matthew Ashton of Canberra Posted at 2:21 PM July 11, 2012
    One angle the ASP take on the drug issue, that pretty much no one else does, is to point out just how normal it is for a certain (small) proportion of society to take illegal drugs for fun. (of course, if we’re including legal drugs then this figure rises to almost everybody in the country!) Every day there are literally hundreds of millions of incidents of human beings choosing to safely ingest illegal drugs for pleasure, relaxation, pain relief, etc. that do not cause any harm to anyone else. The proportion of harmful or problematic drug use incidents is miniscule, and would be reduced even further if drugs were decriminalised/legalised/de-stigmatised.
    Comment 11 of 12
    Ha Friggin Ha Posted at 3:23 PM July 11, 2012
    SEX! Now that I’ve got your attention, what is their policy on asylum seekers?
    Comment 12 of 12

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