The ATDC is of the view that attempting to eradicate drug use through the criminalisation of people who use drugs is neither effective nor humane.
We maintain that there will always be a role for a strong criminal justice response to the manufacturing, supplying and trafficking of large quantities of illicit drugs, but that an individual’s drug use should be treated as a health issue in Tasmania.
It is the ATDC’s position that the human and financial costs resulting from current drug laws are borne not only by those who use drugs, but also by their families, friends and carers, and the Tasmanian community as a whole, and that these costs can be significantly reduced if a decriminalisation approach is taken.
The ATDC also believes a compelling reason to remove criminal sanctions for personal drug use is the impact of stigma and discrimination. The ATDC is committed to facilitating positive change in community attitudes by tackling stigma and discrimination across the broader community and within the health and human services sector. Although there are diverse moral views about illicit drug use, there is strong community support for people who use drugs to be able to access treatment, and that criminalising these individuals creates an enormous barrier to treatment and support.