Page 1921 - Week 06 - Thursday, 9 June 2022

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video

Members interjecting—

Let us see what he says. These comments are reflected across a whole range of media, but in an article in the Canberra Weekly he said that decriminalising drugs would make society far more dangerous. The article says:

Decriminalising illicit drugs—as Labor backbencher Michael Pettersson wants to do in the ACT—would be “a far more dangerous environment” to police, AFP Commissioner Reece Kershaw told a Senate estimates committee this week.

The article goes on:

“People get into ice rages and all sorts of things,” Commissioner Kershaw said, addressing the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee on Monday. “It would become a more dangerous society, and it wouldn’t be as safe as what we are enjoying today. For me, it would lead to chaos.”

Mr Pettersson has a bill before the Legislative Assembly to amend the ACT drug laws. It would decriminalise possession of small amounts of hard drugs; those caught in possession would pay a fine and be referred to a medical professional, rather than facing a two-year prison sentence.

The article says that the bill is supported by a range of people, and it continues:

But, Commissioner Kershaw said: “The evidence is not stacking up that decriminalisation necessarily leads to less crime.”

Illicit drugs facilitated and enabled other crimes, he argued. Drugs were “a causal factor” of domestic violence, and were involved more and more in traffic accidents where people lose their lives.

“Assaults, serious assaults, murder, money laundering—the list goes on of all the different criminal activities that are associated with drug crime.”

I refer to that article because I think it is worth reading in full. I will quote further from it:

Ice, Commissioner Kershaw said, was “a very addictive drug that is very destructive to society. Lots of violent crimes are committed by people who take methamphetamine … Most of the time, it’s a tale of destruction, criminality, and woe and misery for these individuals.”

The article goes on:

Countries that had decriminalised illicit drugs were changing their policies, Commissioner Kershaw said. “As police, we’ve seen that that hasn’t worked as effectively. It can have unforeseen consequences.” The Netherlands’ soft drug policy led to ‘narcotourism’, “a lot of organised crime set up and headquartered in Amsterdam”. Portugal “had crime issues attached to it as well”.

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . . PDF . . . . Video