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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 77579 Find in a Library
Title: Politics of Implementing Drug Law Reform in Australia
Journal: Australian Crime Prevention Council Forum  Volume:4  Issue:1  Dated:(1981)  Pages:69,71,73,75-80
Author(s): R Tomasic
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 10
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: Australia
Annotation: This article contends that Australia's increasingly harsher penalties to illicit drug use and trafficking are not satisfactory answers to this complicated problem.
Abstract: The paper charges that inquiries into drugs seem to serve a largely symbolic purpose, since they are limited in authority and funding. Key issues that have emerged from at least 6 investigations into the regulation of illicit drug use and distribution concern federalism as an obstacle to a national drug strategy, delays in implementation motivated by defensive political manipulations, and a concentration on law enforcement issues rather than the wider social dimensions of the drug problem. Limiting the abuse of all drugs rather than just those classified as illegal and decriminalizing marijuana use have been recommended by study commissions. Instead, the Government has responded by increasing penalties and the size of the law enforcement machinery. Despite the obsessive attitude to improving law enforcement efforts regarding drugs, there is little evidence to suggest that law enforcement agencies can control the problem. Drug users and the community at large cannot be helped without a Government commitment to attack the social bases of the drug problem. Meanwhile, police corruption and drug trafficking continue as social deterioration through the spread of drug abuse, both licit and illicit, pervades society.
Index Term(s): Australia; Controlled Substances; Drug abuse; Drug law enforcement; Drug law offenses; Drug regulation; Federal drug laws; Law Enforcement Teleprinter System; Policy analysis; Political influences
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