Researchers Question Why Public Support Has Not Prompted Pill Testing Reform

Poppy Morandin and Jimmy Singh.   While almost two‐thirds of the public support pill testing at music festivals, no state government has formally adopted the harm reduction method. The data, uncovered by findings from the Australian National University’s Australian Election Study, illustrates a strong public preference for the measure, in light of the several deaths ...continue reading

Merit Program: The NSW Courts Diversionary Pathway for Drug & Alcohol Addicts

  What is the MERIT program? The MERIT program is an opportunity for those who suffer from drug or alcohol addiction, who end up going to court to face criminal charges in the Local Court to assist in rehabilitation. ‘MERIT’ is an abbreviation for ‘Magistrates Early Referral Into Treatment’. A plea of ‘guilty’ or ‘not ...continue reading

Nicotine Vaping and the Law: An interview with Dr Alex Wodak, President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation

Poppy Morandin.   Regulations regarding nicotine vaping products could soon be changed, with a Select Committee on Tobacco Harm Reduction set to report by 1 December 2020. The Select Committee with inquire into tobacco reduction strategies, with specific reference to the health impacts of allowing vaping, the effectiveness of the method as a quitting aid ...continue reading

Drug Court Program and Eligibility in NSW

Poppy Morandin and Jimmy Singh.   Treating drug-related offenders, rather than resorting to sending them to prison, is far more effective in regard to addressing re-offending rates, according to research conducted by the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC) at UNSW Sydney and the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR). Drug Court ...continue reading

Should Australia Legalise Cannabis?: An Interview with Michael Balderstone, Leader of the HEMP Party

Poppy Morandin and Jimmy Singh.   As the one-year anniversary of marijuana’s legalisation in ACT and New Zealand’s upcoming referendum on legalising cannabis loom, it prompts consideration surrounding legalisation of the plant Australia-wide. On October 17, New Zealanders will vote in a referendum that will determine whether the growing, sale and consumption of cannabis for ...continue reading

NSW Police Commissioner Defends Officers Who Performed ‘Unlawful’ Arrest on Curtis Scott

By Poppy Morandin and Jimmy Singh.   NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has sought to defend the actions of police officers involved in the wrongful arrest of NRL player Curtis Scott. The bodycam footage of the arrest shown in court sparked outrage, with it depicting Scott, who was passed out drunk at the foot of ...continue reading

Can Police Search You Using a Drug Detection Dog in NSW?

By Poppy Morandin and Jimmy Singh.   Sniffer dog operations have reportedly returned following their apparent suspension due to concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sniff Off, a Greens campaign for police accountability, drug law reform and civil liberties, regularly reports on sightings of drug dog operations in order to raise the public awareness. They ...continue reading

Section 32 Mental Health Applications now Replaced by Section 14 to Get Criminal Charges Dismissed in Court

There is an available legislative framework for a NSW court to determine criminal proceedings where the accused or defendant has mental health issues relevant to the case. This legislative framework is echoed in the old Act called The Mental Health (Forensic Provisions) Act 1990 (NSW) (‘The Act’). It is a response to the increasing contact with ...continue reading

Plot to Smuggle Drugs into Maximum-Security Jail Fails as Prison Officials Quickly Thwart Plan

By Sahar Adatia and Jimmy Singh.   It was an attempt to drop off drugs with the help of a drone to a maximum-security jail in New South Wales’ Hunter region that failed miserably – so miserably that neither the plan nor the drone actually took off. The plan all came undone on the morning ...continue reading

Concerns Reignited for Prisoners Amid Further Outbreaks of COVID-19

By Poppy Morandin.   There are reportedly 70 inmates in lockdown within Silverwater Correctional Complex after coming into close contact with a staff member who has tested positive for COVID-19.  Within their advocacy efforts, The Greens have issued an open letter to Anthony Roberts, Minister for Corrections detailing the “significant concerns…about the lockdown at Silverwater ...continue reading

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