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Greg Barns: Drug wars in Tasmania and Australia a costly disaster


Police raid a house in NSW where 94 cannabis plants were found.

EVER watched Narcos? The Netflix series, now in its third series, chronicles the arrogant US imperial anti-drugs machine and its futile attempts in the 1990s to stop the production and export of cocaine from Colombia into the US. Narcos tells us something we already know — that the war on drugs is a monumental failure and that every time a drug cartel is taken down, another one sweeps in to the space created and exploits a seriously profitable market opportunity. Cocaine is a drug of choice for millions, including Americans, and it will always be the case. What happens in Narcos is a manifestation of what Tasmania’s Chief Justice Alan Blow said recently (Sunday Tasmanian, September 10). Chief Justice Blow told an audience of lawyers that when it comes to drugs “we send a lot of traffickers to prison, in my view, with no discernible impact on Tasmania’s drug problem, although there seems to be an expectation that that will ha