This is the report of a day-long roundtable of 17 experts and practitioners — retired judges, prosecutors, senior police, prison and parole administrators, drug law researchers and advocates — held at the University of Sydney in September 2015 to consider ways in which Australia could develop safer and more effective policies in relation to illicit drugs. This roundtable followed two Australia21 reports in 2012 that documented the failure of the International War on Drugs and explored the range of alternative options to prohibition, including initiatives introduced in other countries.

The roundtable forum comprised four sessions:

  • Review of current arrangements — strengths and weaknesses,
  • Assessment of performance and options for improvement,
  • Defining a new way forward, and
  • Timetable for possible new policy.

This discussion coalesced into four main areas that have been used to structure this report:

  • A starting point for reform
  • Assumptions underpinning our approach
  • Issues to consider
  • A framework for illicit drug policy reform.

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