Police are wasting precious time and fuelling organised crime by focussing their attention on low level drugs.
Police are wasting precious time and fuelling organised crime by focussing their attention on low level drugs. Contributed

War on drugs has failed: report

POLICE are wasting precious time and fuelling organised crime by focussing their attention on low level drugs according to a report backed by prominent Australians including Foreign Minister Bob Carr.

The former New South Wales Premier is among the political heavy weights backing the report prepared for the think tank Australia21 which suggests the war on drugs has failed and the time has come for "effective decriminalisation".

While the senator contributed to the report before he re-entered Federal Politics, Mr Carr released several statements to the media today standing by the team who prepared it and outlining his views on the findings.

The report compiled for the non-for-profit group quotes public figures including former NSW Health Minister Michael Wooldridge and former West Australian Premier Geoff Gallop.

Even former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery, who was responsible for prosecuting numerous drug offenders, states he is "strongly in favour of legalising, regulating, controlling and taxing all drugs".

The report does not suggest drugs be made readily available to the public but requests politicians re-open the debate about a taxable, decriminalisation regime.

It also goes as far to say that the illegal drug trade and its connection to organised crime is "killing our children".

Mr Carr, whose brother Greg died of an overdose in 1981, told morning news programs he was proud of his integral involvement in opening supervised heroine injection rooms during his time as Premier.

He said his support for reform however did not extend to the decriminalisation of all drugs and hoped political discussion would focus on making better use of police resources.

Current policy makers and politicians were reluctant to comment on the report.

Attorney General Nicola Roxon told ABC Radio there was not yet much evidence that decriminalisation drugs would stamp out the illegal drug trade.

On Tuesday afternoon Queensland Premier Campbell Newman refused to be drawn on the subject.
 


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