Monday, February 11, 2019

Australian state MP wants drugs decriminalized

'Libertarian' MP calls for drug possession to be decriminalised - Adam Carey, The Age:

February 5, 2019 - "A new Victorian MP has used his first speech to call for drug possession to be decriminalised, arguing billions of dollars of taxpayers’ money is being wasted on failed policies of prohibition.

"Liberal Democrats upper house MP David Limbrick also paid tribute to his federal counterpart Senator David Leyonhjelm, who is being sued for defamation by Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young for alleged 'slut-shaming' comments.

"A self-described libertarian, Mr Limbrick vowed he 'would never vote for a reduction in freedom or an increase in taxes'.

"One of two Liberal Democrats elected to the upper house in November, he received just 0.84 per cent of the vote in the south-east metro district but ... is one of 11 upper house crossbenchers the Andrews government will have to negotiate with to pass legislation.

"Limbrick said the 'war on drugs' had failed as badly as the US prohibition on alcohol in the 1920s. 'As a parent, I have had enough of hearing about young people dying from adulterated substances produced in backyard labs,' he said in Parliament....

"Limbrick said Victoria should follow the example of Portugal, where the possession of drugs was decriminalised in 2001. 'For a country that was once considered the heroin capital of Europe, drug-related HIV infections have fallen by 95 per cent and the drug mortality rate is now the lowest in Western Europe,' he said.

"The number of people charged for drug use and possession in Victoria has more than doubled in the past seven years..... 24,584 people were charged with drug possession last year, with cannabis possession the most common charge....

"Limbrick and northern Victorian MP Tim Quilty are the first Liberal Democrats to be voted into the Victorian Parliament."

Read more: https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/libertarian-mp-calls-for-drug-possession-to-be-decriminalised-20190205-p50vtc.html
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