Heroin Legislation Essay

This essay has a total of 784 words and 4 pages.

Heroin Legislation

The Heroin War: Why We Must Change our Battle Plan

If a single reason can be given to illustrate the urgent need for reform of the current
Australian drug policy it is this; that the prohibition strategy is simply not working.
The toll from heroin deaths in Victoria has risen 73 percent over the last ten years,
addiction and overdose rates are soaring and the price of heroin is declining.

The Federal Government is applauding the ‘zero-tolerance' regime. The Prime Minister
displays the seizure of large amounts of the drug and apprehension of suppliers as proof
that the law is working, while the obvious truth is illustrated on our streets. No matter
how ‘tough on drugs' the government becomes they will never eliminate their presence in
society. This is clear from the failure of the approach in other nations. For example the
US carries out a drug associated arrest every 20 seconds, with no signs of any decline.
All that prohibition succeeds in achieving is turning the drug trade into an illegal, dark
and murky black market affair.

We must now ask the question, are we going to stand staunch in policies which have proved
to be unsuccessful or are we going to take a brave leap into a more hopeful future?

There is great fear reverberating through the community; fear of stepping into a more open
and frightening, yet decidedly more promising way of tackling the issue. Reform does not
mean, as opposers argue, condoning the use of drugs. It means accepting that drugs are
part, admittedly an unfortunate part, of our society which will not simply ‘go away'.

The refreshingly new ideas of controlled heroin trials, legal injecting rooms and greater
availability of clean needles should be given consideration.

Lightening of the law would bring drug use out of the shadows it has long inhabited,
removing the violence, criminality and risk which go hand in hand with the current drug
trade. It is argued that any easing of drug laws would reduce the cost, and increase the
availability of street heroin, but if pure, safer heroin is prescribed under clinical
conditions, will this not reduce the desire for heroin on the street? Casting light into
the alleyways will surely lessen the sinister nature of the black trade. Addicts would not
have to turn to crime to finance their habit and dealers would not have the violent hold
over those they supply.

It is time we treated heroin use for what it is, a social issue, not a criminal one. The
community must step out of the belief that addicts are to blame for their plight; that
they are selfish and weak. What we need to realise is that when a person turns to the use
of drugs ‘addiction' is not the decision they are making. They are choosing an escape
from an increasingly desperate and complex world, overpowering addiction comes later.

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