ASMOF applauds proposed NSW drug reforms

04-Dec-2020

There have been media reports over the last day that the NSW Government is considering reforms to the state’s drug laws, including the introduction of a diversionary scheme for possession of small amounts of drugs.

ASMOF supports reform of drug laws in NSW. Along with a number of partners of the Fair Treatment Campaign, we have endorsed the following statement:

The Fair Treatment campaign, a coalition of more than 60 organisations representing legal, medical, health, community and church groups, has welcomed news that the NSW Government is considering changing the law regarding small quantities of drugs and instead introduce a diversionary system.

This group has long-campaigned for such a move, arguing drug laws should be reformed so that drug use can be treated as a health and social issue.

We support these sensible measures that reflect the government is listening to the medical and legal experts and making laws based on the evidence.

This small step brings NSW in line with other jurisdictions around Australia that have similar diversion systems.

Too many people who use drugs are made to live in the shadows, looked down upon with shame and stigma and therefore don’t seek help because of our current drug laws.

We believe this move by the NSW Government could allow police to be tough on crime, diverting resources to policing large drug traffickers and violent offences, where we as a society need their attention to be. We need the helping hand of treatment and support extended to those with drug dependency.

We all want a society in which all people are valued and their dignity as human beings recognised. Parents want to know that their kids will come home from a night out and if they have drug dependency society will help keep them safe until they can get treatment. This move by the NSW government is to be applauded.

The church has spearheaded the Fair Treatment campaign, which is supported by over 60 organisations representing legal, medical, health, community and church groups.

We look forward to an ongoing dialogue about the freeing up of police resources and funding for treatment for people who seek it.

A full list of members of the Fair Treatment can be found here: https://www.fairtreatment.org/fair-treatment-partners/

 

If you want to find out more about the campaign please read the Possession and use of drugs, options for changing the law Discussion Paper. You can find a copy of the paper here