A group of bereaved families and friends gathered on Monday to remember loved ones who had died through the misuse of drugs.
The names of more than 250 victims were recited at the annual remembrance ceremony. Families stood in line to lay flowers at a "memorial stone".
A circle of pairs of shoes was laid - some brought by the relatives of those who had died - to symbolise the numbers of victims and also, the organisers said, a path to a better future.
The ACT government's Attorney General, Gordon Ramsay, laid flowers and said his government was looking at reforming the law in the territory to a "more restorative approach" - treating addiction rather than punishing, particularly for possession of small amounts of cannabis.
"It is clear that there is no one simple answer to the problem we face from drug related harm," he said.
"However, we can say definitively, and this government accepts, that an exclusively prohibitionist policy does not work and will not work. The intent of criminal laws is to hold people morally responsible for wrongdoing.
"But the evidence is overwhelming that treating addiction as an issue of right and wrong not only is ineffective; it simply does not stack up to what we know about the biology and psychology of drug use."
Mr Ramsay said the government was considering what sort of "alcohol and drug court" to set up. This would be concerned with treatment and rehabilitation far more than criminal courts were.
The president of the campaigning group, Bill Bush, said he welcomed the minister's assertion that he had an open mind about reform.
Mr Bush said one problem was that teenagers tried drugs as a matter of experimentation with forbidden fruit and then found themselves within the criminal system.
Once in, it was hard to get out. He likened it to someone who fell down a well and was clambering back out but every time they reached the rim, the criminal system hammered their fingers and down they fell again.
Mr Bush said he wanted to "get the criminal law out of being the destructive influence with people who are struggling with dependency and young people who are risk-taking and who dabble with things they shouldn't".
The group is also concerned about people who become dependent on legal drugs - medications.
Ann Finlay's son, Paul, died after wrestling with mental problems and a dependency on a cocktail of addictive substances, often prescribed medicines.
In the two years before he died, he was treated as a serious addict beyond hope.
His mother said that he needed better care rather than being dealt with mostly as someone with a "hopeless addiction", rather than a vulnerable young person with mental-health problems.
She said in her speech that she still missed his "blue, blue eyes, his smile, his deep, deep voice and most of all, just him".
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