(Geneva, 22 July 2019)
The members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy are delighted to welcome as new member Dr. Geoff Gallop, Former Premier of Western Australia.
Emeritus Professor Geoff Gallop is a leading Australian academic, politician and advocate. He was the 27th Premier of Western Australia (2001-2006), where he decriminalized cannabis possession for personal use in 2004, and is a powerful supporter of mental wellbeing and of the elimination of stigma.
Commenting his membership to the Global Commission, Dr. Gallop said, “I am humbled to join the Global Commission, and will take this opportunity to highlight, globally, drug policy successes and failures in Australia. We have seen how policy can produce good results when informed by a human-centered, pragmatic approach.”
He added that “Australia has taken new approaches to tackling drugs, adopting harm reduction measures and different treatment options for problematic use in the last thirty years. Yet it is also important that Australia learns now from the experiences of other countries. There are jurisdictions that had moved to decriminalize personal drug use, to prioritize health and rights, or even to legally regulate some substances, and they have not experienced the subsequent expansion in drug use that was predicted by opponents. This is the evidence and experience I hope to share at home and overseas in my new role as Global Commissioner.”
Ruth Dreifuss, Chair of the Global Commission and former President of Switzerland stated “the members of the Global Commission hold in high regard the bold steps Geoff Gallop took as Premier in Western Australia, in standing by the evidence and decriminalizing the personal use of certain illegal drugs. Our Commission could not hope for a better new member from Australia, with deep knowledge of drug control in urban settings and an understanding of state-level policy reform.”
Dr. Gallop is the first Australian member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
The Global Commission on Drug Policy now comprises 27 members, including 14 former Heads of State or Government from Brazil, Chile, Colombia (2), Greece, Mauritius, Mexico, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland, and Timor-Leste, and four Nobel Prize laureates.
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