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Laurie Ferguson welcomes drug law reform report.



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Laurie Ferguson Shadow Minister for Consumer Affairs Shadow Minister for Population Health and Health Regulation

Laurie Ferguson Welcomes Drug Law Reform Report

Monday, 6th, March 2006

Shadow Minister for Population Health and Health Regulation Laurie Ferguson today welcomed the release by the Australia Institute of the report Drug Law Reform: Beyond Prohibition.

According to the report, Australia’s policy on illicit drugs is failing and it should be shifted from law enforcement toward treatment and prevention.

The issue of drug abuse needs to be confronted as a health rather than a legal problem. Four out of every five state and federal dollars allocated to dealing with illicit drug issues are going to law enforcement.

“The current approach to dealing with the insidious problems of illicit drugs is clearly not working. Not enough resources are being directed at treatment and prevention,” Mr Ferguson said.

Mr Ferguson endorsed the report’s finding which found that: Treatment substantially reduces drug and mental health problems and drug related crime and corruption.

The report shows that every dollar spent in treatment, will produce a saving of $12.

“Current enforcement strategies are failing to yield a beneficial return on the billions spent,” Mr Ferguson said.

Mr Ferguson also emphasised his support for a targeted and efficient enforcement regime.

ENDS

Contact: Laurie Ferguson 0418 601 716