CultureWatch

Bill Muehlenberg's commentary on issues of the day...

Labor’s Drug Policy

Oct 22, 2002

The push by the Labor Government to soften Victorians up to a permissive policy on drugs has gone quiet lately (except for a major blunder by the Consumer Affairs Minister – more on that in a moment). But that is to be expected – we are in election mode.

So instead we are getting various election sweeteners, eg. more money on this, more money on that. But voters can rest assured that if Labor is returned to office, the same harm minimisation policy will be promoted.

Harm minimisation policy says that people will always take drugs, so all we can do is try to minimise the harm, to lessen the dangers. It is the opposite of a much more sensible policy: harm elimination. This policy says mind-altering drugs are illegal because they are dangerous, and they should stay that way.

The principle is that prevention is better than cure. Keeping people off destructive drugs in the first place is a much wiser and a much more cost-effective policy than picking up the pieces of drug addiction. But Labor has long ago given in to a soft approach to drugs. Thus we can be sure, for example, that the plan to introduce heroin injection rooms will be back on the agenda if they return to office.

As an example of how the government has gone to pot on this issue (pun intended), consider a recent government initiative, funded of course by our tax dollars. The Victorian Government each year produces a booklet for young people, meant to give them advice and help on a number of issues. Past issues of the book have given pro-homosexual advice, among other things.

The annual booklet for young people is called Stuff and has been distributed to Victorian schools. In the current issue, kids are advised on how to take ecstasy and other drugs. It also tells kids how to avoid answering police queries about drugs.

All together, 80,000 copies of the tax-payer funded booklet were distributed. The Consumer Affairs minister Christine Campbell says she is “very proud” of the book. One has to ask how a government minister can be proud to offer such advice. Not only is she crossing swords with her own police department, but she is giving young people very bad advice indeed. Many studies have shown just how dangerous drugs like ecstasy are.

Illicit drugs are illegal because they are dangerous. Public health and safety demands that we keep them illegal, and not cave in to the pro-drug crowd, and the Politically Correct brigade.

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