Australia’s illicit drug problem: Challenges and opportunities for law enforcement

REPORT - May 2024

List of recommendations

Recommendation 1

6.15The committee recommends that the Australian Government re-establish a governance structure under the National Cabinet architecture, bringing together representatives with responsibility for law enforcement and health across the Commonwealth, states and territories, to oversee the implementation of the National Drug Strategy.

Recommendation 2

6.19The committee recommends that the Australian Government undertake a comprehensive evaluation of the National Drug Strategy 2017–2026 as a matter of priority to measure the successes and shortfalls of the existing Strategy and inform the development of the next National Drug Strategy.

Recommendation 3

6.23The committee recommends that the evaluation of the National Drug Strategy 2017-2026 (recommendation 2 above), include a review by the Australian Government, in consultation with state and territory governments, of the current resourcing for the three pillars of the Strategy. Should the differences still be substantial, consideration should be given to increasing funding for demand and harm reduction measures. Any additional allocation in funding should not come at the expense of funding for law enforcement’s supply reduction efforts.

Recommendation 4

6.46The committee recommends that the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission undertake research to clarify what proportion of people arrested for possession of illicit drugs are concurrently charged with another criminal offence and would not have come to law enforcement attention but for the concurrent (non-drug related) offence.

Recommendation 5

6.51The committee recommends that the Australian Government commission research to understand the impacts of decriminalisation in Australian and international jurisdictions where reforms have been implemented. Such research should, where possible, evaluate the longitudinal impacts on individuals, communities and law enforcement agencies to provide an evidence base to inform future policy decisions.

Recommendation 6

6.56The committee recommends that the Australian Government support research to develop an effective roadside cannabis impairment test to be used by law enforcement, including the current work being undertaken in Victoria.

Recommendation 7

6.68The committee recommends that future drug awareness campaigns run by the Australian Federal Police be evidence-based and subject to evaluation.