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No new ideas in Coalition's punitive dead end drugs policy

Media Release - 19 Nov 2004

"The Prime Minister is playing with people's lives for politics when he calls for welfare payments to people convicted of drug offences to be quarantined," said Brian McConnell, President of Families and
Friends for Drug Law Reform.

"This further foray into micromanagement of other people's lives will further marginalise the most marginalised in the community. I find this Big Brother mentality incredible from a Party that preaches personal responsibility" added Mr McConnell."

"The Government says it expects people to lead responsible lives supporting themselves and their families, here it is going hell for leather removing the few supports remaining that will allow them to do that."

"As the President of the AMA has said, people who suffer from addiction need help not a further dose of punishment," Mr McConnell stressed that these people have a health problem and we must deal with it as such.

"It further punishes someone who has already been punished by the courts and does nothing to help a person with a drug addiction."

"The policy gives no consideration to its consequences and will drive the issue further underground and away from the essential treatment, help and support that is needed and which could help them.

"But voters can expect this policy to increase crime and increase the risk that their homes will be broken into."

"Under the Coalition's policy thousands and thousands of Australians with a health problem of addiction and/or mental illness are warehoused in prisons around the country."

"In their 11 years in office they have presided over a free-enterprise black market that is worth more than $7 billion and shows no signs of going away."

"This latest example of an ideologically driven measure is just fiddling around the edges. It is not based on evidence. It will punish the victims and do nothing to tackle the huge drug trade."

See also Families and Friends for Drug Law Reform at www.ffdlr.org.au"