“Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.”
- Thomas Jefferson
Federal legislation was passed last Wednesday that gives the Australian Government unprecedented powers to ban plants and substances without parliamentary approval or public consultation. The Crimes Legislation Amendment (Serious Drugs, Identity Crime and Other Measures) Bill 2012 also allows the Australian Government unprecedented powers to spy on and invade the personal privacy of its citizens.
This appears to have taken everybody in the drug policy reform movement by surprise – it happened just as we at HHC HQ have been contributing to submissions against Queensland's proposed new legislation to ban any substance which is interpreted as 'mimicking the effects of a dangerous drug'. Though the bill is ostensibly aimed at combating emerging synthetic compounds, we've already seen that there are policymakers out there who would like to criminalize acacias, cactus, and other wonderful teacher plants. It's high time that we had a policy of regulation based on evidence and public consultation, rather than arcane prohibition which is likely to lead to more social harm from drugs in the long run and is an infringement upon our basic rights as individuals.
There is a petition on Avaaz against the new law, it's a good first step towards raising public awareness around the issue and we encourage everybody to sign and share it.
CLICK HERE to sign the petition