Review of Misuse of Drugs Act needed to ensure users not jailed for life

The Greens have today called for a review of the thresholds set out in the Schedules to the Misuse of Drugs Act, to ensure proposed life sentencing for meth traffickers does not unjustly target users.

Spokesperson for Health Alison Xamon MLC said the Greens had a tough approach to drug traffickers and dealers supported the proposed amendment to the Misuse of Drugs Act because it targeted ‘Mr Bigs’ and addressed the drug supply.

“However, the Greens want to ensure there are not unintended consequences from the passage of this legislation,” Ms Xamon said.

“That is why we are urging the Law Reform Commission to carry out an urgent review into the schedules set out in the Act, which determine thresholds of amounts of drugs which filter out users from dealers and traffickers. Ms Xamon said a review of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1981 was long overdue.

She said failure by successive governments to review and update the Act, there was a very real chance that quantities specified in the schedules did not reflect current patterns of drug use and distribution. “I do not want to further criminalise, marginalise and stigmatise people who use drugs but who do no harm to others,” Ms Xamon said.

 “Our approach to them should be a public health approach, not a law and order approach.”