National Party of Western Australia to Debate Heroin Maintenance 8/07/98

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The National Party of Western Australia is debating whether to include heroin maintenance trials as part of its drug policy platform, at the party's annual conference this weekend, according to The Australian this week. Earlier this year the party's State Council endorsed steps toward the decriminalization of marijuana, calling for first and second-time users to be issued infringement notices rather than taken to court. Paul Clune, a party member and sponsor of the resolution, said the heroin trial would be based on the Swiss program, which has led to dramatic reductions in drug-related crime.

Last year's National Party conference rejected a resolution that supported the Australian Capital Territory heroin trials, with opposition to the trials led by party leader and Deputy Premier Hendy Cowan. Premier Richard Court is opposing the trials, saying ""I am certainly very opposed to pumping more heroin into the system," and is also opposed to any liberalization of the marijuana laws.

Opposition Leader Geoff Gallop countered that "It is pretty clear that the current system is not working and advice to that effect is coming consistently from our police officers, including the commissioner," he said.

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Issue #53, 8/07/98 Marijuana Arrests Up For 6th Straight Year in California | Chavez Turns Down Plea Bargain | Arizona Supreme Court Judge Sides with Legislative Council over Prop. 300 Description | DC Appropriations Bill Would Ban Even Local Spending on Needle Exchange | Misusing the Evidence | British Columbia Looks to Harm Reduction Strategy | National Party of Western Australia to Debate Heroin Maintenance | Health of Afghani Women Deteriorating Under Taliban Regime | Citizens Truth Commissions | Fall 1998 Soros Fellowships in Drug Policy Studies | Conferences Coming Up
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