Report suggests the war on drugs has failed and the time has come for
Report suggests the war on drugs has failed and the time has come for "effective decriminalisation". Craig Warhurst

Is the war on drugs lost?

POLICE are wasting precious time and fuelling organised crime by focussing their attention on low level drugs according to a report backed by prominent Australians including Foreign Minister Bob Carr.

The former NSW Premier is among the political heavyweights backing the report prepared for think tank Australia21 which suggests the war on drugs has failed and the time has come for "effective decriminalisation".

While he contributed to the report before he re-entered Federal Politics, Senator Carr released several statements yesterday standing by the team who prepared it and outlining his views on the findings.

And now Nimbin drug reform advocate Michael Balderstone has called on Sen Carr's Canberra colleagues to "open their eyes and ears" to the report, which claims the time has come for decriminalisation.

The report, compiled for the not-for-profit Australia21, quotes public figures including former Federal Health Minister Michael Wooldridge and former West Australian Premier Geoff Gallop.

Even former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery, who was responsible for prosecuting numerous drug offenders, states he is "strongly in favour of legalising, regulating, controlling and taxing all drugs".

Mr Balderstone, the national spokesman for the HEMP party, said the report was "a long time coming" and hoped politicians, Prime Minister Julia Gillard in particular, would take note.

"I was really disappointed when she immediately said she wasn't interested in decriminalisation," Mr Balderstone said. "I don't think people realise the impact it has on people to be labelled a criminal all your life when you don't feel like you have done anything wrong."

HAS THE WAR ON DRUGS BEEN LOST? Leave a comment below.



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