The Greens call for a regulated legalised cocaine industry to push criminals out of business
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Cate Faehrmann, a NSW Greens MP, is among many wanting to see the end on the war on drugs.
While speaking to ABC News, Faehrmann dubbed criminalisation ‘stupid and dangerous’, adding the only people benefiting from this approach to drug use were criminals.
"The worst thing for the drug lords right now would be a legal market, that's what they would fear the most," Feahrmann said.
"Why is cocaine illegal and other drugs like alcohol are legal? We have far more deaths in this country from alcohol than we do cocaine."
She added that legalisation would interrupt the business model, and drug dealers would instantly be out of work.
"The war on drugs has well and truly failed," she continued.
"We're just doing the same thing day in day out. I think the only people who think that what we're doing is good is the criminals themselves."
Dan Howard SC, who led a NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into the drug ‘ice’ and other drugs for the previous Coalition government, echoed a similar sentiment to the Greens MP but held back from wanting to see it legal.
Howard explained that decriminalisation wouldn’t mean drugs are legal; instead, more emphasis would be on rehabilitation than the criminal justice system.
"It means if somebody is found in use or possession of drugs, the drugs will be confiscated, they will be referred to an education program or psychologist, addressing this whole issue of use and possession,” he told the outlet.
He added about 20,000 cases in the NSW local court system were for personal use of drugs, adding it was a waste of time and resources.
In June, a new UN report found that Australia, along with New Zealand, had become the cocaine capital of the world.
The report revealed that in the past year Australia had the highest per capita user of cocaine worldwide, with an estimated five and a half tonnes consumed per year.
However, the UN report noted that the consumption of cocaine across Oceania, based on wastewater analysis, is lower than in other regions.
“This suggests most users of cocaine are occasional users,” the report added.
But the cocaine industry across the country is only growing.
“What we know from our wastewater data is that cocaine is a serious drug for the country,” Dr Katie Willis, Australian Criminal Intelligence Commissioner told Sky News.
“All of the data that we have is pointing in the direction of expansion in the cocaine market.”