In a week when drug trafficking loomed large in the public consciousness and there was renewed discussion about the desirability of countries like Indonesia softening their hardline stance on drugs, it was easy to overlook the reality that such arguments have raged on and off for years. Indeed, since Richard Nixon declared war on drugs in 1971 in a confected fit of moral panic, the significant social and economic costs of drug abuse have been so discussed, dissected and raked over that it might be imagined there was little left to be said. Or rather, that that there was little being said that was useful and attainable as opposed to unrealistic, naïve or fanciful.
Occasionally, practical, commonsense observations do emerge from the general tumult – as for example when Directions ACT suggested this week that creating a drug court in the Territory might potentially slow the number of drug offenders being sent to the Alexander Maconochie Centre, reduce recidivism rates, and save the government millions of dollars.
The Canbarra Times, May 1, 2015
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