In Oceania, drug production, trafficking and consumption remain overwhelmingly a criminal justice issue. However, Australia and New Zealand have moved towards policies that prioritise health to respond to drug use. More recently, New Zealand made the headlines with the adoption of an innovative policy towards new psychoactive substances.
Social workers operating in Sydney’s inner city public housing estates have slammed a new policy that denies homes to those with a history of serious drug offences, saying it sets a “troubling precedent” that further marginalises people trying to leave their past behind them.
As New Zealand’s general election draws closer, some of the parliamentary candidates have been discussing drug policy after the 2017 Parliamentary Drug Policy Symposium was convened in early July by the NZ Drug Foundation to fuel debate on the subject.