The President of the WA branch of the Australian Medical Association says he will continue to push the debate over decriminalisation of drugs for personal use, despite authorities taking a strong stand against it.
Dr Andrew Miller said alternative solutions on how the state treated drug users needed to be debated.
He called for a “mature conversation”.
“The current situation’s not working, there’s a lot of harm from drugs and there’s a lot of harm from people going to jail,” he said.
“The one thing we’re not seeing enough of is money spent on rehabilitation, money spent on health intervention.”
“There’s a lot of addiction specialists who truly believe that we don’t want to legalize the drugs but if we can decriminalize the drugs that we may get better outcomes.
“It’s very disappointing when we see the well-chronicled famous young people in our town whose lives have descended into interaction with the criminal justice system and drugs.”
Dr Miller said the McGowan Government should look into whether WA could trial the Portuguese model.
While possession of and use of illicit drugs in Portugal is illegal, those caught with small amounts are fined and sent to rehabilitation treatment instead of prison.
“The AMA’s position is that illicit drug use is bad for people and it’s bad for the community and we need to look again at what the best ways are to minimize the harm that drug addiction brings to families in WA every day.”
Article originally published by ABC.net.au.