Australian minister proposes bill on decriminalising drugs

Fiona Patten, the leader of the Reason Party and a member of the Victorian State Parliament for the Northern Metropolitan district, proposed a bill in the Victorian State Parliament on Wednesday.

According to media reports, if Patten’s bill is approved by Parliament, illegal narcotics might be legalised in Victoria. Possession of minor amounts of substances such as methamphetamines, ecstasy, cocaine, and cannabis would be decriminalised under the bill.

Fiona Patten, a Victorian Member of Parliament, stated that she wants those who are caught with drugs to be educated or treated to help them overcome their drug addiction. According to the media source, Patten believes that there should be no criminal convictions or arrests in drug cases. She emphasised that police officers who are caught in possession of drugs should be treated and educated.

According to the bill, anyone caught with drugs has 12 months to finish a drug rehabilitation programme. Fiona Patten stated that Victoria must stop treating drugs as a criminal issue and instead treat them as a public health issue.

Fiona stated before her Parliamentary speech that the majority of drug users did not have a problem with the new bill and that they could benefit from early intervention. According to the news article, Reason Party leader Patten stated that if the measure is passed, the decision will be “rational and logical,” not “extreme.” She pointed out that the measure would provide people the chance to change their lives if they were “on a path that was going to lead them into drug trouble.” Patten’s proposals would result in the regulation of cannabis, the expansion of supervised safe injection facilities, and the organisation of pill testing trials.

According to media reports, the Victorian government rejected a plan to decriminalise those caught with minor amounts of illicit narcotics last week. Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas indicated that the government would not support the idea put forward by Fiona Patten of the Reason Party. According to the news source, Pallas stated that the reform will create a “industry for criminal behaviour” and that they have no plans to amend the existing rules. He emphasised the necessity for the government to recognise that using illegal drugs is harmful to both individuals and society.

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