Tasmanians react to drug decriminalisation calls

YOUR SAY: Tasmanians react to a new report pushing for drug decriminalisation.
YOUR SAY: Tasmanians react to a new report pushing for drug decriminalisation.

Another former Tasmania Police officer has thrown his support behind a national push for widespread drug law reform.

Former police commander Ivan Dean said it was time to address what he described as “one of the biggest issues” facing the country.

“The current strategies aren’t working - we just need to take a very strong look at this whole thing and try and make changes that are contemporary,” he said.

“It would need to be a fairly widespread reform - there are some drugs we can never accept and never decriminalise, but there are areas in which we need a different perspective.

“There ought to be some sort of committee, in my view it needs to be a body of people with the background and the knowledge to be able to look at this issue very closely.”

Mr Dean’s comments follow the launch of a new report pushing drug decriminalisation, which has been supported by senior police, prison officers and lawyers – including former Tasmania Police Commissioner Jack Johnston.

The Australia 21 report, officially launched on Monday, recommends national change which would “reduce criminal control of the drug market”.

The report claims that Australia’s current ‘war on drugs’ approach is “flawed, and failing to achieve its intended results”.  

“While law enforcement will always be important to managing illicit drug use … the focus should not be on whether a user has taken or possesses these drugs for personal use but rather on associated criminal or antisocial behaviour,” the report read.