Podcast: Illicit drug policy – more harm than good?

01 November 2019

Episode Summary

On this episode of Policy Forum Pod, a doctor, a legal expert, and a political scientist speak passionately about why Australia needs to urgently reform its illicit drug policies, and share their thoughts on what Australia could learn from other countries which have.

Episode Notes

Australia’s illicit drug policies are complex and vary between states and territories. Despite recent pushes to decriminalise cannabis in the Australian Capital Territory or to minimise harm through pill-testing at festivals – both of which have been opposed by the federal government – attempts to regulate illicit drug use have mostly been pursued through prohibition. On this Policy Forum Pod, we talk to Dr David Caldicott, Professor Desmond Manderson, and Dr Tracy Fenwick about why ‘zero tolerance’ policies are causing more harm than good, and how states and territories can act as policy laboratories to develop better solutions. They also discuss why the legalisation of cannabis always needs to go hand in hand with effective quality controls for marijuana crops. Listen here.

Pod presenters Paul Wyrwoll and Julia Ahrens also discuss the government’s new expert panel appointed to find ways to cut emissions and take a look at your comments, questions and suggestions for future episodes of Policy Forum Pod.

Desmond Manderson is a Professor in the College of Law at The Australian National University. He is founding Director of the Centre for Law, Arts, and the Humanities.

Tracy Fenwick is the Director of the Australian Centre for Federalism and Senior Lecturer in the School of Politics in the College of Arts and Social Sciences at ANU.

David Caldicott is an emergency consultant at the emergency department of the Calvary Hospital in Canberra and a Senior Lecturer in the College of Health and Medicine at ANU.

Paul Wyrwoll is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Climate and Energy Policy in the Crawford School at ANU. He is an environmental and resources economist who works on energy, water, and climate change.

Julia Ahrens is a presenter on Policy Forum Pod.

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