AIVL Applauds Greens’ New Drug Policy

The national organisation representing people who use drugs, AIVL has applauded the Australian Greens’ courageous leadership in adopting an evidence-based drug policy that focuses on saving lives.

The Australian Greens holistic policy on Drugs, Substance Abuse and Addition encompasses not just illicit drugs but also tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceuticals. The policy, in a nutshell, adopts a harm-minimisation approach that addresses addiction as a health issue with treatments covered by Medicare.

There are 14 principles on issues including harm minimisation, evidence-base approach, alcohol, tobacco, access to services, education and Aboriginal control of responses to the drug use issues in their communities.

The policy also lists 24 aims, the first of which is the reduction in rates “to close to zero”, of harmful consumption of drugs and other substances, including tobacco. Other aims include:

  • universal access to drug, substance and alcohol treatment programs,
  • increase in dissemination of evidence-based information to the public, on risks, effects and safe use of drugs and other substances,
  • regulated use of cannabis and cannabis-derived products for medically-prescribed purposes,
  • diversion, treatment, rehabilitation and restorative justice programs to be a sentencing option,
  • tax on alcoholic beverages based on alcohol content rather than value,
  • a ban on financial donations from tobacco and alcohol industries to political parties and candidates.

In its policy, the Greens also aims to establish an independent drug regulatory authority to develop, and continuously evaluate, evidence-based policies and programs.

Too many lives lost in pursuit of a universally flawed, scientifically unfounded approach…

CEO of AIVL, Dr Angella Duvnjak, applauded the Greens “courageous leadership” in launching this policy.

She said the party’s move to a policy focused on evidence-based harm-minimisation approaches that emphasise the saving of lives, should be welcomed by any compassionate and well-informed Australian.

“Too many lives have been lost unnecessarily in the pursuit of a universally flawed and scientifically unfounded approach… based on punitive and largely criminal justice responses,” she said.

“We know there are many in the community, across the political spectrum who support a well-informed and rational debate in this area. We encourage those people to show similar courage and lend their voices in support of a new conversation on this important issue.”


Read the full Australian Greens drug policy
Read the AIVL release
No drug policy was found on the Liberal Party 2016 Election Policies webpage.
Australian Labor Party’s national drug strategy and tobacco policy,

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