No decision on decriminalizing drug possession in NSW after two years

De NSW government remains divided over the decriminalization of drug possession in the state despite nearly two years passing since the investigation into the drug epidemic.

It is almost two years since a special commission of inquiry into the state’s drug use and there is still no formal response from the state government.

The investigation was sparked by multiple drug overdoses at NSW music festivals, and with another festival season set to begin, lawyers are awaiting a decision.

The NSW government remains divided over the decriminalization of drug possession in the state despite nearly two years passing since the investigation into the drug epidemic.
It is almost two years since a special commission of inquiry into the state’s drug use and there is still no formal response from the state government. (9 News)

Professor Dan Howard’s report was delivered in January 2020.

The government issued an interim response a month later rejecting five of the recommendations, including introducing pill tests and ending the use of dogs for drug detection.

Since then, there has been no response to the more than 100 other recommendations in the report.

“I hope I will be able to say good things to those who are waiting. I think a definitive answer is threatening,” Attorney General Mark Speakman said in November.

“I would be disappointed if it were not for this year.”

The NSW government remains divided over the decriminalization of drug possession in the state despite nearly two years passing since the investigation into the drug epidemic.
The investigation was sparked by multiple drug overdoses at NSW music festivals, and with another festival season set to begin, lawyers are awaiting a decision. (9 News)

Just four days before the end of the year, the NSW government issued a statement on the investigation.

“The government’s response to the Ice Inquiry remains under consideration,” the statement said.

The lack of a decision on the recommendations has been criticized by the state opposition.

“There’s no point in having an inquiry as you will have to wait years before you respond,” said Shadow Health Minister Ryan Park.

“That’s not good enough and the community deserves more and so do those families who are dealing with someone with a drug addiction.”

The NSW government remains divided over the decriminalization of drug possession in the state despite nearly two years passing since the investigation into the drug epidemic.
There has been no response to the more than 100 other recommendations in the report. (9 News)

Last year, the cabinet would have a three-strike policy for possession of drugs at low levels, which would mean that the prisoners did not get a criminal record until their third violation.

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Recommendations being considered fall across several areas of government, including justice and health.

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