Yea the consequences in Aus have been fairly dire. Kids needlessly overdosing in public venues, nightclubs and festivals; high incarceration rates and subsequent reoffending rates, sky high demand for methamphetamine etc. In the USA you’ve got an opiate epidemic going on killing tens of thousands yearly, a large portion of deaths result as a byproduct of a saturated, unregulated market with chemical specifics and product purity being questionable.
Clamping down doesn’t appear to have any perceived net effect regarding availability… Aside from during covid-19, wherein people rather switched to alternate substances (i.e heroin instead of meth) as opposed to quitting. Vices will unfortunately be a byproduct of our society so long as people require a means to escape from the miserable constraints of reality.
Literature would appear to indicate we can’t stamp out this problem through police initiatives and harsh penalization. Perhaps we ought to take a look from Portugul’s handbook. It isn’t perfect, and sociocultural normalities will inherently dictate whether progressive policy enacted would/could be a success… But they’re doing a hell of a lot better than Aus/the USA are. Lower overdose rates, record low levels of blood bourne disease spread through sharing needles, low rates of fatal overdose and youth rates of drug use are roughly on par with and/or slightly lower than other secular countries.
You’d think we’d learn from prohibition. Supply/unregulated demand due to inherent criminalisation = organised crime, violence, death and now mass incarceration. But alas humanity appears doomed to repeat the same mistakes time and time again. Climate change is probably my biggest long term worry at this point. The Aussie government in power more/less does nothing/dismisses the topic as being of pivotal importance.
In Aus societal reform is painfully slow, both because there are admittedly far more pressing issues to worry about and because politicians are shit scared of looking as if they’re “going soft” on crime as the Aussie populace and government tends to have a penchant towards catering towards batshit nanny state policy. Decriminalising low level possession of narcotics yet maintaining harsh penalties associated with dealing/distribution and supporting proven strategies to reduce the needless loss of human life doesn’t equate to “going soft on crime” to me… But what do I know, I’m just a kid with some fairly strong opinions.