On ABC Local Radio on the evening of 2 April 2012, ahead of today’s launch of Australia21’s report on illicit drugs policy, PM host Mark Colvin interviewed former NSW Director of Public Prosecutions Nicholas Cowdery QC on the need for drug reform.
In his opening response Nick said:
NICK COWDERY: I'm not advocating in respect of any drugs that they should simply be available to anybody who wants them, certainly not. The prongs of the approach that I would hope we would move towards - and it will not happen quickly, it will not happen overnight and it may not happen in relation to all drugs - but what I would like to see is the legalisation, the regulation - so it's not just supermarket stuff - the control and the taxation of drugs. Much as we do with alcohol and nicotine at present.
We know that they cause us a lot of trouble. But because they're out in the open and because the Government can put controls around the supply and consumption of those drugs - alcohol and nicotine - we can reduce the harms that they cause.
He then responded to a question from Mark about the Portuguese experience of decriminalisation.
Read the full transcript of the interview here.