Branson calls on Turnbull to decriminalise drugs

by |
Billionaire Sir Richard Branson has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to decriminalise drugs in Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald reported yesterday.

Branson, who is the commissioner for the Global Commission on Drug Policy, issued the challenge in a submission to the federal government’s National Ice Taskforce, which last week pledged nearly $300m to the drug-treatment sector as part of a new prevention strategy.

But the agencies providing such services are claiming they have been left in limbo by another short-term funding extension.

Branson is calling for an end to “counterproductive drug-law enforcement” and to “scale up” evidence based prevention, harm reduction and treatment measures, the Herald reported.  He said the trend towards decriminalisation by many countries including Ireland, Canada and Mexico shows a radical shift.

“Drug use should be treated as a health issue, not as a crime. While the vast majority of recreational drug users never experience any problems, people who struggle with drug addiction deserve access to treatment, not a prison cell,” he said.

Branson also said that legalisation would save lives as people wouldn’t fear arrest when accessing healthcare services.
  • Suzana Adad on 11/01/2016 10:12:24 AM

    Agreed, but more importantly, right now the pension bill is bigger than the tax account and it is going to be some time before enough schoolies leave school, start to pay tax into the tax account and reduce the pension bill. So, in the meantime if Mr. Branson is serious about his submissions, it would make sense for Mr. Branson to commit to substantially investing into the pension account to help the users that CHOOSE to take drugs, get sick and then expect the pubic purse to fund their medical bills. That is of course if you agree that we live in a democracy, Mr. Branson is serious and for those of us that know that the tax payer will pay the users medical bills. Not the Government; currently for whatever reason, a common belief in the community.

  • Professor Phillip Hamilton on 15/12/2015 3:00:20 PM

    So Branson has put himself in the camp of the luvvies.What does he know anyway? He is just another ordinary person, and his views are no better than John Doe's. He's as bad as pop singers with views on everything. Why do you even give him airspace?

Australasian Lawyer forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Name (required)
Comment (required)
By submitting, I agree to the Terms & Conditions