Regulation and control

There are a range of approaches to regulating the use of illicit drugs. Some legislation aims to reduce supply by disrupting or controlling illicit drugs and their precursors through border control, targeting supply networks and by making it an offence to supply and use illicit drugs (such as ice, heroin, cocaine and cannabis)  [30136]. Other strategies aim to control buying of illicit drugs (and alcohol) through controlling where individuals can purchase goods, such as the cashless debit card [31958]. Currently cannabis is an illegal drug but legislation has been passed to allow use of medicinal cannabis in Australia for specific medicinal and research purposes [34890]. This involved an amendment to the Narcotics Drugs Act 1967 and will allow for cultivation of cannabis though a national licensing scheme.

Putting  people in jail for offences associated with illicit drug use can have a number of long term effects which can entrench people in the justice system and make it harder for them to integrate back into the community [30848]. In recognition of this there are a number of strategies identified in the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples’ Drug Strategy that aim to divert people away from jail when the underlying issue is addiction [30136]. See also our section on justice.

References

Key resources

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