The first principle of the Global Commission for Drug Policy (which includes 18 former heads of state) has only three syllables:
Put health first.
Backed by the Commission, and with a guest appearance by @richardbranson (who has been on the Commission for over 10 years), Uniting (the service arm of the Uniting Church) has launched Fair Treatment: The Reform on Drugs, a campaign to decriminalise the personal use of drugs in Australia.
This is a big deal. Please educate us if we are missing something, but we believe this is the first formal campaign of its kind in Australian history. The possibility of success seems remote, but ONLY because of the conservative political climate.
So, success will eventually follow the will of the people. And if supporters of this campaign want to achieve a critical mass they need some powerful arguments, and those arguments need to be heard often. They've got a lot of them here: www.fairtreatment.org
Richard Branson made the point that the war on drugs has been lost. If the 60 year war had been a business venture it would have been dropped 59 years ago. However, if we put the resources we currently put into prohibition into treatment we wouldn't need prohibition.
Dr Marianne Jauncey (director of the Kings Cross Medically Supervised Injecting Centre) made the point that what we all most want to reduce, even the most conservative among us, is not drugs but 'harm' to the people we love and to everyone else. That's why the focus and allocation of resources must be treatment.
Dr Khalid Tinasti (Executive director of the Global Commission on Drug Policy) finished by saying "there is no pathway to harm reduction without decriminalisation.'
Follow the campaign at @fairtreatmentau