Victoria's Radical Plan To Decriminalise Illicit Substances

Bill approaches Parliament

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Leader of Reason Party, Fiona Patten is seeking to make illicit drug possession an educational matter rather than a criminal matter.

Patten will introduce a new bill to hit state parliament next week, decriminalising all drugs for both users and dealers.

Under the proposed plan, anyone holding a small possession or having used illicit drugs will be referred to a drug education or treatment program.

Compliance would also involve a mandatory notice letter from Victoria Police.

Patten said the drug policy reform would help the state combat addiction, saving lives and reducing harm to Victorians.

"Current drug law is killing innocent people and causing untold other harm, wasting billions of taxpayers’ dollars, fuelling organised crime, and squandering scarce health and law-enforcement resources, and the members of the Victorian parliament know it," Ms Patten said.

"That’s not an assertion, it’s a fact proved by domestic and international experience."

The Reason Party leader has been a longstanding advocate of change towards Victoria's war on drugs.

"Failure to make this change would be wilfully ­ignorant to the point of negligent, because so many lives ­depend on it, and the quality of life of so many people and communities and families can so readily be improved through harm reduction."

Patten has been a pillar for social change since entering the political ranks, with the introduction of safe drug injecting rooms around the CBD.

Along with the new drug program, Patten wants to see more injecting rooms setup across Melbourne as an attempt to reduce both deaths and ­ambulance call-outs.

Melbourne injecting room on Flinders Street

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17 February 2022

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