Deputy State Coroner recommendations re personal drug use will save lives
8th Nov 2019
The number of people harmed or killed by drug use will be reduced if the Deputy State Coroner’s recommendations regarding personal drug use are implemented, and governments around Australia, not just NSW, must revamp drug laws to save lives says the Australian Lawyers Alliance.
“It has been clear for many years that criminal and law enforcement responses to the use of illicit drugs are not working,” said Mr Greg Barns, criminal justice spokesperson for the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA). “The report released today is the result of extensive and thorough investigation into the deaths of several young people at music festivals.
“The government must take these recommendations seriously. The government has a duty to ensure a safe environment for patrons of music festivals.
“The reality is that young people will experiment with drugs and they are being needlessly exposed to death or physical and mental harm when we have the ability to decrease this risk.
“Our priority must be to avoid deaths and minimise harm.
“Simply saying no to drugs does not work and the government should listen to health experts, and now the Deputy State Coroner, on this issue.
“At every festival police use sniffer dogs and make arrests. Young people are then shunted through the court system – or worse they are injured or die in their panic to avoid arrest. This approach does not reduce demand for drugs and does not recognise the reality of drug use at music festivals.”