The Project’s Waleed Aly has pointed out why the Australian government’s tough stance on ice was never going to work and why we’re losing the war on ice.
Speaking on former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s April announcement of a national task force to tackle the “ice epidemic”, Aly says:
“It made Tony Abbott look like a good leader, it gave him some great slogans but there was one little catch. It was never going to work.”
The government’s zero tolerance approach includes a ‘dob in a dealer’ campaign as well as potential life sentences for NSW ice dealers.
Aly goes on to say that even Ken Lay, the head of Abbott’s taskforce and a former Chief Commissioner of Victoria Police, has conceded we can’t “arrest our way out of the problem”.
“The evidence says law enforcement on it’s own won’t work. It will only work when combined with harm minimisation and crucially access to rehab as soon as it’s needed,” Aly says.
“So why do governments so often ignore that evidence, well because putting users in hospital beds just doesn’t give you he same buzz as chucking them in the slammer. No one gets elected being nice to drug users.”
“These crackdowns aren’t aimed at drug user, they’re aimed at voters.”