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  1. Law Committee suggests drug control needs radical rethink

    22 December 2014
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    The Criminal Law Committee of the NSW Bar Association decided to look at the available research on illicit drugs and the current government drug strategy in order to come to a view on whether law reform was necessary. In a detailed discussion paper, the committee considered options for reform. One possibility is decriminalisation of cannabis, a drug where the risk of harm, while real, appears modest compared with other illicit drugs and even alcohol and tobacco. That would have a significant impact, given that 12,000 offences for possess/use cannabis were dealt with in NSW courts in 2012-13. (Fact sheet: Cannabis and the law in Australia)

  2. Victoria to legalise medicinal marijuana

    18 December 2014
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    A bill to legalise medical marijuana could be put to Victoria's parliament before the end of next year, with the Labor government determined to reform the state's drug laws. Premier Daniel Andrews said that the Victorian Law Reform Commission had been asked to submit a report in August next year to determine not if, but when and how the laws should change to allow terminally and chronically ill people access to medicinal marijuana. (See also: National marijuana legalisation inches closer with new bill)

  3. First lesson for new inquiry into ice: we've lost the war on drugs

    Alex Wodak
    16 December 2014
    Other news

    Five Labor and three Conservative governments adopted harm minimisation as Australia’s official national drug policy on 2 April 1985 and every Commonwealth, state and territory government since then has implemented harm minimisation programmes. 

  4. Drug possession arrests double in past six years across NSW

    27 November 2014
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    The number of people arrested for possessing drugs in New South Wales (Australia) has doubled over the past six years, with NSW leading a national trend towards increased law enforcement directed at individual drug users. Yet the spike in arrests appears to have done nothing to stem the tide of drug use, with the state this week hitting the 1 million mark for the number of people who have recently used illicit drugs. The data comes as the NSW Bar Association released a report finding drug prohibition has been a failure and calling for reform. (Fact sheet: Cannabis and the law)

  5. Tony Abbott backs legalisation of medical cannabis

    16 September 2014
    Other news

    Prime Minister Tony Abbott has thrown his support behind the legalisation of cannabis for medical purposes.

  6. Majority of Australians support medical marijuana

    22 July 2014
    Other news

    Almost two-thirds of Australians support the legalisation of cannabis for medicinal purposes, according to a new poll which coincides with a renewed push to relax the laws. It comes as NSW Premier Mike Baird indicated that he supported the use of medical marijuana, despite having concerns about its supply and regulation. Earlier this month Cassie Batten was questioned by police after admitting to using cannabis oil to treat her disabled three-year-old, who has epilepsy and suffers from profound seizures.