In March this year the United Nations’ Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), the world’s top drug policy-making body, held a summit in
Vienna to determine the United Nations Political Declaration on Drugs, the framework for international drug controls for the next decade. The summit determined, depressingly but predictably, that the approach of the last 10 years – the War on Drugs - will continue. The summit also showcased the usual tensions between those countries that support harm reduction, including most Western European countries and
Australia, and those that don’t, predominantly the
United States and
These days in Nimbin, people tell you that the police’s main interest is fixing the town’s drug problem “once and for all.” But such a confrontational strategy wasn’t always the norm. Neville Plush, Officer in Charge of Nimbin police between 1994 and 2003, remembers a more inclusive, community-based approach.
User’s News editor Gideon Warhaft visited Nimbin in February and found many locals with fond memories of Plush. Gideon spoke to him, starting by asking about the transition from his one-man station at Port Stephens to one of
New South Wales’ most incorrigibly controversial towns.
I first came to prison in 1985 for robbing a bank in
Western Sydney. I served a five year sentence before being released on parole. At that time in my life I had never used drugs. Prior to my release my parole officer told me that due to me denying drug use in prison she would not recommend my release to parole. This meant that I would have to serve another year or so before I could reapply. When I challenged her decision she finally agreed to recommend my release on the provision that I sign up for the methadone maintenance program. I guess I let her talk me into it rather than do another year in jail. While I didn’t need it, it was the only possibility that I could be released. This decision I would regret for the rest of my life.