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Drug policy: a going-over down-under?

Blaine Stothard (Independent Consultant in Health Education, based at Blaine Stothard Consultancy, London, UK)

Drugs and Alcohol Today

ISSN: 1745-9265

Publication date: 25 February 2014



The purpose of this paper is to inform readers of developments in drug policy debate in Australia following the publication of the Global Commission Report. To explain the activities, discussions and findings of events organised by the Australian NGO Australia21. To provide some key contextual information and references.


Overview of international situation following publication of Global Commission Report. Summary of current Australian national policy and its origins. Summary of recent national reports and their impact on policy. Account of NGO reports and recommendations.


Civil society agencies have entered national debate on drug policy and recommended an abandonment of prohibition-based approaches, using the Global Commission Report as a catalyst. First steps have been taken to introduce this debate into the Australian parliament.

Research limitations/implications

Incomplete knowledge of relevant national documentation.

Practical implications

Probable delay in government developing debate and acting on recommendations in an election year.


Case study of developments and debate in one jurisdiction resulting from Global Commission Report. Aligns with similar debate and moves in other nations. Adds to knowledge of developments which challenge existing international policy debate and practical approaches which reject prohibition.



Stothard, B. (2014), "Drug policy: a going-over down-under?", Drugs and Alcohol Today, Vol. 14 No. 1, pp. 31-41.



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