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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 13 Hansard (9 December) . . Page.. 4228 ..

MR SMYTH (continuing):

94. From the moral viewpoint "using drugs is always illict, because it implies an unjustified and irrational refusal to think, will, and act as free persons."

To say that drugs are illicit is not to condemn the drug-user. These persons experience their condition as a "heavy slavery" from which they need to be freed. The way to recovery cannot be that of ethical culpability or repressive law, but it must be by way of rehabilitation, which, without condoning the possible fault of persons on drugs, promotes liberation from their condition and reintegration.

95. The detoxification of the person addicted to drugs is more than medical treatment. Moreover, medicines are of little or no use. Detoxification is an integrally human process meant to "give a complete and definitive meaning to life," and thus to restore to those addicted that "self-confidence and salutary self-esteem" which help them to recover the joy of living.

In the rehabilitation of persons addicted to drugs it is important "that there be an attempt to get to know individuals and to understand their inner world; to bring them to the discovery or rediscovery of their dignity as persons, to help them to reawaken and develop, as active subjects, those personal resources, which the use of drugs has suppressed, through a confident reactivation of the mechanisms of the will, directed to secure and noble deeds.

96. Using drugs is anti-life. "One cannot speak of 'the freedom to take drugs' or of 'the right to drugs,' because human beings do not have the right to harm themselves and they cannot and must not ever abdicate their personal dignity, which is given to them by God," and even less do they have the right to make others pay for their choice.

Friday, 10 December 1999


Debate resumed from 26 November 1998, on motion by Mr Humphries:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR STANHOPE (Leader of the Opposition) (12.03 am): Mr Speaker, I fear that this Bill can satisfy no-one. I think even the Attorney will be unhappy with it, should it succeed, when he is the focus of the widespread criticism that will follow. But the Attorney, of course, is wearing his Treasurer's hat on top of his wig. That must be the reason he is so arrogantly determined to push on to rein in the cost of the criminal injuries compensation scheme and ignore the legitimate criticisms of the legal profession and the support groups that are most closely linked to the issue.

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