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Former top prosecutor urges overhaul of drug ‘prohibition’

The state’s former top prosecutor has urged the decriminalisation of the use of illicit drugs as the “first step” to full legislation.

Former Director of Public Prosecutions in NSW Nicholas Cowdery QC says treating drug use as a criminal issue rather than a public health-based issue “adds to the harms already caused” by drug use.

He says NSW should eventually move to the “legalisation, regulation, control and taxation of all drugs”.

Mr Cowdery tells Karl Stefanovic it is the most rational way of dealing with drug use.

“I’m not in any way advocating for the use of drugs. It’s better, quite frankly, if people don’t use drugs but, that said, there will always be a demand.

“What I’m looking for is a solution that takes the criminal profit out of the drug trade and reduces the harms that are caused by prohibition.”

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Image: Getty/Witthaya Prasongsin