AMA body backs drug crime repeal
The Australian Medical Association's Victoria branch has backed a report by a group of prominent Australians that recommends Australia rethink its criminalisation of illicit drugs.
The report recommended that cannabis and ecstasy be decriminalised for people aged 16 and older who are willing to be recorded on a national confidential users' register.
The report, prepared by not-for-profit thinktank Australia21, said prohibition had failed, leaving the manufacture and supply of illicit drugs in the hands of ''criminal elements'' and without proper safeguards and quality control.
Victorian AMA president Stephen Parnis said drugs policy should be based on evidence not prejudice.
Former Australian Federal Police commissioner Mick Palmer said criminalisation was failing to deter drug users. ''On any objective assessment, policing of the illicit drug market has had only marginal impact on the profitability of the drug trade or the availability of illicit drugs'' he said.