Canberra Liberals leader Elizabeth Lee has moved to distance herself from push polling being run for ACT senator Zed Seselja, which suggests drug decriminalisation will lead to a spike in violence.
Canberrans have begun receiving the cold call, which draws the link between decriminalisation and increased drug use, with each question including the phrase "hard drugs like heroin and ice".
But in an apparent admission the call was a political ad, rather than genuine polling, receivers are told it was endorsed by acting Canberra Liberals director Josh Manuatu.
They are asked whether they believed legalising "hard drugs like heroin and ice" would increase drug use and violence, and whether they would be less likely to support the territory government.
Ms Lee said she had no involvement in the survey and it was being conducted on behalf of Senator Seselja.
"As a federal representative of the ACT, the Senator is entitled to seek the views of constituents on matters that impact them," Ms Lee said.
Mr Manuatu told The Canberra Times the party was "very eager to understand view of Labor's proposal to decriminalise hard drugs".
"Less than a year since the last ACT election, when this wasn't mentioned once, and with cost of living skyrocketing, Canberrans deserve to be consulted about whether this is a more important priority than fixing our health and education systems and tackling cost of living pressures," he said.
A select Legislative Assembly committee is currently considering a bill to decriminalise personal possession of illicit substances, and will hand down its report in October.
Although possession would not be legal, people caught with small amounts of heroin, cocaine and MDMA would receive a $100 fine and be required to undergo a drugs program.
Ms Lee said the Canberra Liberals referred the bill to an inquiry because of the seriousness of the matters it deals with.
"Through the inquiry, we have started to see serious concerns raised by the community, stakeholders and experts with this bill," she said.
"The Canberra Liberals will continue to consult with stakeholders and experts to inform our approach going forward."
Ms Lee's comments prompted the Greens spokesman on drug harm reduction, Johnathan Davis, to call for the real leader of the Canberra Liberals to stand up and for Senator Seselja to stop involving himself in territory issues.
"Senator Seselja's continued intrusion into territory politics demonstrates that Ms Lee's appointment as leader is a trojan horse for the hard line social conservatives that are embedded within the DNA of the Canberra Liberals," Mr Davis, who is also a member of the select committee, said.
"Someone needs to tell me who is actually leading the Canberra Liberals. Who is my political opponent, because at this point I feel convinced that my political opponent is Senator Zed Seselja."
Labor backbencher Michael Pettersson introduced the private member's bill in December, arguing it would end a cycle of drug users exiting and re-entering the justice system.
The proposed legislation would set a possession limit of 2 grams for cocaine, ice and heroin and 0.5 grams for ecstasy.
It would also include limits for LSD, magic mushrooms and amphetamines.
The committee is still holding public hearings into the proposed law, which would be the first of its kind in any jurisdiction in Australia.
ACT Policing have warned the proposed possession limits for heroin and ice was "far above" regular personal use limits and could inadvertently enable drug trafficking.
Former ACT attorney-general Bill Stefaniak blasted the proposal as an "utter waste of paper" in a hearing last month, saying the laws were likely to see violent crime and drug use rise.
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