The Fifth Estate
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Is it time to rethink Australia’s drug policy? Join Dr Alex Wodak AM, Senior Specialist of St Vincent Hospital’s Alcohol and Drug Service and President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation, as he discusses the ‘war on drugs’ with host Sally Warhaft.
A report released in April declared the current approach to illicit drug use to be a failure with devastating consequences. The report was prepared by an independent working group including foreign affairs minister Bob Carr, former health minister Michael Wooldridge, former federal police chief Mick Palmer and Nicholas Cowderey QC. Yet both the government and the opposition continue to advocate tough policing and are critical of recommendations in favour of decriminalisation. Do we need major reform? And what might this entail?
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.
Dr Alex Wodak was the Director of the Alcohol and Drug Service at Sydney’s St. Vincent’s Hospital from 1982 to 2012. He’s currently President of the Australian Drug Law Reform Foundation.
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This long-running series is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre’s programme, and of public conversation in Melbourne. Twice a month, our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft hosts guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations to dissect pressing questions of policy, power and public affairs. It's free, it's fortnightly and it's a chance to give complex local and global issues the thoughtful discussion they deserve.
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