Criminalisation hasn’t reduced rates of use, supply, or harm from drugs. Instead, it drives people away from getting help when they need it. Yet our government continues to spend around ⅔ of its total drug budget on enforcement, draining money from prevention, treatment and harm reduction.
No ideological obsession with abstinence, or politically-motivated "war on drugs", is worth sacrificing more lives. I’m working towards a common sense approach to drug use.
The Greens support legalising cannabis. Under the watch of a government regulator, we would allow people to grow cannabis for personal use, or purchase a quality-controlled product from licenced retailers, as recommended by the Queensland Productivity Commission in 2020.
My Federal Greens colleagues have proposed a bill to legalise cannabis nationally, and I've launched a petition to the Queensland Attorney-General and Parliament calling on them to legalise cannabis and wipe previous related offences. You can sign our petition here.
While we work towards legalisation, I’ve also moved amendments to create a defence to drug driving charges for medicinal cannabis patients. Under my amendments, it would still be illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol or any drug, but patients would no longer be criminalised just for having THC in their system (which can be detected days or even weeks after use).
Drug checking, including pill testing
Since I was elected I’ve been pushing for drug checking (which includes pill testing) in Queensland. In 2022 the State Government finally indicated it was working with providers to allow pill testing, which is great news - but we need funding to gather data, expand drug checking and make it sustainable.
We have clear evidence that pill testing saves lives. I’m calling for the Government to fund drug checking trials at AOD premises, at festivals and in other places where drugs are commonly used, including Safe Night Precincts like Fortitude Valley and Surfers Paradise.
Other harm reduction measures
I’m also pushing for population-based planning that properly funds drug and alcohol services, instead of limiting funding to what meagre amount Government thinks it can spare each budget.
We need to fully fund:
- Clinically Supervised Injecting Centres
- Opioid replacement therapy
- A properly resourced rollout of the take-home naloxone program in Queensland, to end opioid overdose