The public should decide if illicit drugs should be made legal, one of Victoria's most senior policeman says.
The Herald Sun newspaper reports that Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Ken Jones made the comments at a conference on organised crime in Melbourne.
"I'd love to have a debate at some point about legalisation," the newspaper reported.
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Sir Ken said the public should be informed about the costs such as higher insurance premiums and delays to elective surgery because of hospital waiting lists caused by illicit drug use.
Later, he told the Herald Sun his invitation to speak at the conference followed calls from academics and police experts for decriminalisation of drugs or harm minimisation strategies.
Sir Ken said his comments were not a softening of police drugs policy.
"There are people in academia, in public policy and law enforcement who are challenging us and saying the current approach is not working. I'm hearing it come up a lot," he said.
Sir Ken would not nominate which drugs should be legalised and said that he did not want the public exposed to more legal drugs.
"I dont want my daughter exposed to more," Sir Ken said.
"If we had our time again, we wouldn't have allowed tobacco ... or alcohol. Are we going to add another 20 to the list? I don't think so."
October 20, 2010