August 14, 2017

Greens Health and Substance Abuse spokesperson, Tammy Franks MLC said measures recently announced by Opposition Leader, Steven Marshall to use sniffer dogs in schools as part of his Winning the War on Drugs policy are “dopey, ineffective and expensive”.

“The announcement from the Liberal Party on the weekend might be populist but it won’t bring real solutions to the serious challenges of curbing drug abuse,” Ms. Franks said. “We already know sniffer dogs are costly and ineffective; this new Liberal policy is misguided. They should be looking at solutions to get our kids help when they need, getting them back on track, not setting them off on a path of exclusion.

“Parents confronted with a teen child abusing drugs and alcohol want support, interventions and programs not dogs roaming their child’s school halls. This expensive operation could be better spent on getting help to kids in need.

“Drug detection dogs are not only expensive but they are also ineffective, over half the time their detection doesn’t even work. A report by the NSW Ombudsman in 2006 found that 73% of people identified by sniffer dogs were not actually carrying drugs.*

“If the Liberal Leader is declaring a ‘war on drugs’ then it’s time for thinking South Australians to declare a war on stupid. The so-called war on drugs approach is a relic of Reaganism that doesn’t work in stemming substance abuse in society but does make criminals out of people with a health issue. We want smart solutions to support parents and teens with the health challenges of drug abuse not some ‘tough on’ slogan that doesn’t get people help when they need it.

“Adding insult to ignorance, the call has been made only for public schools at this stage and was done without proper consultation with those school communities to ask their considered solutions to keeping their kids healthy and free from harm,” she concluded.


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