Australians prefer harmful drug use to be tackled using education and treatment instead of law enforcement to a greater degree than they did three years ago, the latest results from the National Drug Strategy Household Survey show.
In 2009–10 the Drug Policy Modelling Program estimated that of the Australian government’s $1.7bn illicit drugs budget, 64% was spent on law enforcement, 22% on treatment, 9.7% on prevention, and 2.2% on harm reduction.
But the survey results released on Thursday show that voters would allocate the budget differently. People were asked how they would split a hypothetical $100 between education, treatment and law enforcement to reduce the harm of alcohol, tobacco and illicit drugs.
Depending on the drug type, they thought that a greater proportion of funds should be allocated to education or treatment in 2016 – making up at least 64% and up to 77% of total