Alan Jones puts support behind drug law reform
The push for drug law reform has received a seemingly unlikely ally, as Sydney-based broadcaster Alan Jones has spoken out in favour of drug law reform.
The conservative commentator, who also recently decried Sydney’s lockout laws, said on his 2GB radio program that the current drug laws were not working.
Uniting and the Uniting Church are engaged in a campaign for drug law reform that would focus on treatment. This reform would include the decriminalisation of possession of drugs. Producing and trafficking amphetamine-type stimulants would continue to be criminalised.
The medical director of Uniting’s medically supervised injecting centre in Kings Cross, Dr Marianne Jauncey, told the Sydney Morning Herald recently that there was “very much an increasing confluence of normally disparate voices basically saying the same thing: the current situation is not working.”
“What I’ve now learned in the 20-odd years I’ve been working [in the field] is that there are direct harms that come merely from the criminalisation of tiny amounts of personal use,” Dr Jauncey said.
Dr Jauncey said “people
really have to sit up and take notice” when the Uniting Church, lawyers,
medical experts, social workers and Alan Jones agreed.
“Alan Jones and I probably wouldn’t be natural allies … but on this particular issue I think he’s spot on.”
The 2016 Synod meeting resolved to campaign on the issue.
The NSW Bar Association has recently made similar calls for reform.
In 2018, a group made the long walk from Dubbo to Sydney carrying a batton with an open message to the Premier from Moderator Rev Simon Hansford – calling on the NSW government to take personal drug use out of the realm of criminality and make effective treatment accessible to people struggling with problematic drug use.
The film about their efforts, Half A Million Steps, recently premiered and will be screening at the following times.
Wednesday 3 July, 6.30pm – Dendy Newtown
Friday 12 July, 6.30pm – Dendy Newtown
Image by Eva Rinaldi
Jonathan Foye is Insights’ Editor