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.
Advertisement: Story continues below
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
Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.