The Premier’s announcement today that Victoria will build a new 500-bed prison and push approximately $800 million into expanding the prison system over the next few years was an admission of failure on law and order issues and the complete failure of the government’s ‘tough on drugs’ policy, according to the Australian Sex Party.
The party’s President and candidate for the Melbourne by election, Fiona Patten, said that it cost Victorian taxpayers nearly $300,000 to keep one person in jail for a year and that 70% of inmates in Victorian prisons were in there for drug related crimes.
“Just in one new jail, the Premier will be spending an extra 350 x $300,000 in the first year to house drug dealers and drug users “, she said. “That’s over $100,000,000 extra to deal with drug crime that will not stop people from re-offending, from continuing to break into people’s homes when they get out or rehabilitate them in any meaningful way”.
Ms Patten said that if recreational drug use was decriminalised or regulated in some way with registered addicts and problem users using the doctor/pharmacy system to treat their problems, the community would be spared these huge slugs, which they would pay via their taxes.
“The Premier is treating drugs in the same way that they do in Mexico”, she said. “It’s a recipe for disaster. He should be examining the effects of legalising recreational drugs in Portugal where this approach has been a huge success. Organised crime flourishes on illegal drugs and the more the government pushes its phoney ‘tough on drugs’ policies, the more crime we will have.”
Ms Patten said that if she were elected to the seat of Melbourne she would immediately introduce a Private Member’s Bill to regulate all recreational drugs in Victoria. If not, she would use the Sex Party’s growing preferences clout to push and cajole other parties into accepting some form of trial, where the effects of regulation could be measured.