Drug law reform

Across Australia, reform is needed to laws relating to recreational drugs so as to reduce harm and prevent people getting caught up in the criminal system. 

What’s the problem?

While comparable countries have taken significant steps in decriminalising and even legalising cannabis possession and use in recent years, much of Australia remains behind and people continue to face criminal punishment.

In 2020, the ACT reformed its laws to decriminalise cannabis possession and use in order to keep people out of the justice system.

In 2020, the RSA surveyed its members as part of a submission to a Victorian inquiry, finding that the overwhelming majority believed cannabis should be categorised as a soft drug – like alcohol – instead of a hard drug, and its misuse treated as a health issue instead of a criminal one.

We support well-planned and structured legalisation of cannabis for recreational use, while balancing scientific realities and community concerns. As we argued in the submission, there is no evidence that legalisation “opens the floodgates” to use.

We also support medically supervised injecting rooms. There is overwhelming evidence that they reduce fatal overdoses, improve access to health services, improve amenity through a reduction in reducing street-based injecting and reduce costs for governments. Additionally, they do not engender increased substance use.

We also support pill testing at events such as music festivals, with evidence showing that it  influences the behaviour of people using drugs in a way that reduces the likelihood of harmful outcomes.

What we're doing

We’re helping to raise public awareness about the need for drug law reform across all of Australia’s jurisdictions – state, territory and federal.

We’re lobbying the major parties and other members of the federal parliament and other jurisdictions to support such reforms.

What you can do

You can write to your local federal MP or state/territory senators, or arrange a meeting with them, to voice your support for our positions.

You can also consider helping us to make an impact by becoming a member of the Rationalist Society of Australia or making a donation.

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