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Some things just belong in the '80s.
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Enhancing access to treatment and prevention options is the answer.
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It is an especially historic decision when you consider how long it took us to get here.
The Government has just a little more blood on its hands.
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We need an earlier warning system.
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When atrocities occur, there is a need to reflect on our own backyard.
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Unlike many policies which tend to rely on modelling and produce endless disputes about assumptions and bias, drug policy discussions can draw upon real life experiences and much evidence. But depressingly, rarely in public policy development does evidence so easily get overridden by personal crusades and unfounded beliefs as happens with drug policy.
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The current state and federal governments refuse to acknowledge the key role of harm reduction in providing safety and saving lives. Instead, they are forging ahead with their illogical and impossible pursuit of a drug-free society based on the old, heavy-handed law-and-order approach.
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If Australia takes the weak approach of just wanting to fly under the radar and offend no-one on this critical issue, then all that will be achieved is an exorbitant travel bill for bureaucrats to travel to New York for the meeting.
The idea of injecting drugs or meeting a drug addict is pretty confronting for many people. There's a sense that visitors to our service are at best unpredictable and chaotic, and at worst downright dangerous. Though Richard didn't seem at all phased.