Drug users 'surrender' to police
BY GARY MEYERHOFF
DARWIN — Four drug law reform advocates handed themselves into the Darwin Local Police Office on April 12 to raise awareness of the Northern Territory Labor government's proposed "drug house" legislation.
The four activists, members of the Network Against Prohibition (NAP), presented NT police superintendent Bob Rennie with signed declarations stating that they had "self administered a dangerous drug, namely cannabis". Rennie thanked them for their assistance and said that the matters would be investigated and charges laid if enough evidence is forthcoming.
The April 12 protest follows the arrest — for allegedly "causing substantial annoyance", failing "to cease to loiter" and "disorderly behaviour" — on March 22 of five NAP activists during a peaceful protest outside the Department of Justice. The five campaigners have pleaded not guilty and a trial has been set for May 13-14.
Many people had expected the Chief Minister Clare Martin's newly elected Labor government to implement progressive policing and illicit drug use policies, however the opposite has occurred. Treatment centres have been closed, as has the methadone reduction program, and the NT police are implementing a major crackdown on users of illicit drugs.
NAP activists are calling on drug law reform supporters to participate in this year's May 1 protest events. The Darwin M1 organising collective has included "Stop the war on drugs" on the list of demands and the Department of Justice on the list of protest targets.
From Green Left Weekly, April 24, 2002.
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