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Australia’s neverending path to a proper drug policy

If you’re reading this publication, there’s a high chance you’ve been to a festival recently. And if you’ve been to a festival, there’s a high chance you’ve run into revellers getting high. Fuck it, if you’ve seen a gig in the last month I’d say the same.

The union between music and drugs is a turbulent relationship as old as time and despite everything you may hear, the breakup is never coming. Like all the most dysfunctional pairings, there isn’t a stick large enough to poke through the spokes of this gargantuan wheel.

Read the full article in Happy Mag Issue #4.

drugs music legislation legal drugs australia policy

What obstacles lie ahead for the psychoactive ambassadors hiking the arduous path to a proper drug policy in Australia?

The two have been through millennia of ups and downs, so without a rise or fall disproportionately larger than anything history has ever seen, those revellers will keep showing up to your gigs and festivals.

And with such a contentious, blanketing presence over history, there will be sides endlessly arguing for and against the free use of narcotics. It’s a juicy competition with enough pros and cons to get a high school third-speaker frothing at the mouth… which only propagates the squabble.

Of course, those preaching against the drug war are hedonists who “just wants to take drugs all the time”. It’s as easy as saying Americans love guns. Well you’re right, they want to take drugs as much as citizens of Chicago wanted to drink booze in the 20s. That’s why there’s a conversation, and all the purple haze in the world won’t smoke out that decision.

Meanwhile prohibitionists evangelise health and safety while booze tears Australia apart one coward punch at a time. At the same time the Surgeon General of the United States has named the drug war a failure and other medical professionals are undergoing studies into the treatment possibilities of cannabis, MDMA and even LSD.

There are holes in your standpoint and your neighbour’s, so don’t throw stones at them and expect to hit anything.

So how do we do it? How can you prepare society for something with so much potential energy for harm?

Australia has an entire infrastructure system; lobbies, pubs and units in world-class hospitals make up the institution which has been set up to service our population’s use of alcohol. Can you imagine what we would need to change should cocaine start shooting out of vending machines?


Read the full article in Happy Mag Issue #4. In this issue we chat to Julia Jacklin for our cover interview, go behind the scenes with Sydney’s Polographia and tackle the question: Why are so many festivals still coming through with male-dominated lineups?

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March 10, 2017

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