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Governments needs to explore alternative to prohibitionist drug policies, says report

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e2610 (Published 05 April 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2610
  1. Melissa Sweet
  1. 1Sydney

In Australia, two former federal health ministers who served in conservative governments, other senior public figures, and leading health experts have put their names to a new report calling for an end to prohibitionist drug policies.

The report was released this week by not for profit think tank Australia21. It arose out of a round table meeting held earlier this year in response to a 2011 statement by the Global Commission on drug policy urging all countries to revisit their drug policies in view of the failure of the “war on drugs.”

The report calls on governments to explore alternatives to prohibition and says: “By maintaining prohibition and suppressing or avoiding debate about its costs and benefits, it can be argued justifiably that our governments and other community leaders are standing idly by while our children …

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