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Dealing with Drugs

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The Australia21 report, ‘Can Australia respond to drugs more effectively and safely?’, released in March of this year, argues that it’s time to bring an end to the costly, unavailing campaign of criminalising drug users – and to instead adopt a wide approach to harm reduction.

Photo of Sally Warhaft and Bob Carr

Sally Warhaft and Bob Carr — Photo: Jon Tjhia

The report’s 13 key recommendations are groundbreaking, and drawn from conversations between people with legal, law enforcement, prison, public health and policy backgrounds. Drug users and their families have endorsed it. So, how have the recommendations been received? And what hope is there for true policy reform? 

Alongside former Victorian premier Jeff Kennett, Australia21’s report was launched by former Australian foreign minister and former NSW premier Bob Carr. Carr joins Fifth Estate host Sally Warhaft for a discussion of the so-called war on drugs, and the push for decriminalisation in Australia today.

More broadly, Carr also offers his thoughts on political developments around the globe – including the US, China, Syria and Pakistan.

Who?

Portrait of Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft

Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer. She hosts the Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, now in its ninth year. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.

Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.

Portrait of Bob Carr

Bob Carr

Bob Carr is a former premier of New South Wales and a former senator, serving as Minister of Foreign Affairs from March 2012 to September 2013.

The Fifth Estate

The important stories of the day – off the front pages.

Sally Warhaft hosts a dizzying array of guests from the worlds of politics, culture, international relations and beyond, in a witty and revealing analysis of current affairs.