The Sunday Telegraph
"DOPE smokers are making a mockery of lenient cannabis laws in NSW by refusing to undertake drug counselling when caught using marijuana.
Fewer than two in every 100 users cautioned by police for possessing or smoking cannabis call the drug helpline.
Even those caught a second time are flouting the laws. Introduced a decade ago, the laws make it compulsory for multiple offenders to get help for drug use.
The system - where police officers can formally caution people found with 15 grams or less of cannabis - has become so useless, according to the NSW Auditor-General Peter Achterstraat, that police should be harder on users.
Despite issuing 39,000 cautions in 10 years, Mr Achterstraat said "more needs to be done to increase the number of cannabis offenders getting help for their drug use".
Not only should police crack down on dope smokers, but the Auditor-General says the Health department should set up a register of users to help identify addicts and help them get cleaned up
"Knowing who offenders are and why they have offended may help identify the best ways to reduce their drug use," he said.
Mr Achterstraat's report reveals that just 0.2 per cent of first-time offenders take any notice of police directing them to the drug helpline.
The report also revealed police and drug health workers thought the cautioning system was useless in reducing drug use, with one staff member likening it to "getting hit on the head with a wet lettuce".
In his response to the report, NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said he did not support the recommendation "in its current form", but added the force was investigating ways to increase compliance rates with cannabis cautions.
Mr Scipione said he supported a wider review of the caution system, as recommended by Mr Achterstraat, to determine whether it was working.
"To date, this question remains unanswered despite attempts by the NSW Police Force to obtain funding to do so," Mr Scipione said."
April 24, 2011 12:00AM ... http://www.dailytele...9-1226043874313
Given the above statement by NSW Auditor-General Peter Achterstraat "Not only should police crack down on dope smokers, but the Auditor-General says the Health department should set up a register of users to help identify addicts and help them get cleaned up" is very disturbing news and should ring alarm bells amongst our Community
the idea of the Government compiling a 'register' of Cannabis "addicts" ( users) would further demonise Cannabis users and completely alienate them from the mainstream population is utterly outrageous as it is unAustralian ! Where are our Rights to use Mother Nature's gifts?
what place does the NSW Auditor-General have in advocating any Government policy or Laws ... none!
the ideas in this news report, being released the day before Anzac Day the day we all remember those brave Australians who laid their life down so that we may have basic freedom from oppression and freedom of choice, are nothing short of shameful.