The Australian Greens have officially reneged on their blanket stance against the legalisation of currently-illicit drugs.
The massive change to the party’s drug policy was announced by leader Richard Di Natale at the Greens’ national conference in Perth last Saturday.
With the expected backlash from conservative figured and the media, Di Natale hopes to kickstart the conversation about the failure of the current war on drugs.
“I’m ready for it. I think it’s about time Australia had this conversation because it’s killing our kids,” he told Fairfax Media.
“It’s time to recognise this is a health problem not a law and order one. We have to have an open, honest conversation about this and stop pretending we’re winning this war – we’re losing and losing fast.”
It seems that Di Natale has joined the zeitgeist of the current drug harm reduction climate, also calling for more pill testing, injection rooms, and more conversations around recreational cannabis.
The change in policy comes after consultation with experts, as well as a trip by Di Natale to the progressive-drug-policy-haven of Portugal.
In 2001 Portugal decriminalised all drugs in response to what was deemed a “rising drug problem”, which has significantly lowered drug use and problems associated with drug use.