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6 December 2012   

Support for our work on illicit drugs policy: 

Lisa's confession and Stuart's comics     


Lisa Pryor speaking at the launch of Australia21's second report on illicit drugs policy in September.
Lisa Pryor
I have a confession to make. when I flew to Adelaide to take part in the launch of the second Australia21 roundtable report on illicit drugs, I was excited for reasons other than a sense of being part of a positive step towards reforming the country's drug laws. Of course this opportunity did excite me, but there was another smaller, personal reason why this trip was special to me. It was the first time I’d left my baby son, then eight months old, overnight. And as it turned out, it became the second time since his birth where I got a glorious, dreamy, uninterrupted night of sleep.
Another thing which initially made me reluctant to get involved was being a medical student who hopes to be a doctor in three years’ time. This fear has well and truly put to rest since my involvement with Australia21. Sitting across a table from the fabulous David Penington, who has not only been an eminent doctor but the dean of a medical school and the vice-chancellor of a university, the tireless Dr Alex Wodak with his lifetime of work in addiction medicine, not to mention a representative of the Australian Medical Association, reminded me of something very important:  

Whether you are a parent or a health professional, nothing could be more responsible, and should be more respectable, than fighting for a world where laws help rather than harm people and where policies are based on evidence. 

I commend Australia 21 for demonstrating this to so many people, myself included.                                                                    

Stuart McMillen
Support for Australia21 comes in many guises. Australia21 was delighted when Stuart McMilen sent us his '‘War on Drugs” comic which explores the question:

 'How do today's drug laws compare
with 1920s alcohol pro

Over the course of 28 pages, Stuart uses his comic art to portray the uncanny parallels between 1920s Prohibition and our current drug laws. The comic is presented in an accessible visual format designed to engage readers who may have not considered the 'other side' of the drug debate before.
Stuart generously allowed us to use his comic and we provided a link to it on our Facebook page. Stuart’s work, including the War on Drugs comic, is freely available via  

Thank you Stuart. We look forward to seeing more of your creations in the future.

Lisa Pryor is the author of A Small Book About Drugs. She is  a law graduate and returned to the University of Sydney in 2011 to study medicine and is the mother of two young children.  

Stuart McMillen is a Brisbane-based cartoonist who draws comics about science, society and ecological sustainability. His work has been translated into multiple languages and he has a global audience.   

 'Alternatives to Prohibition How to stop killing and criminalising young Australians'. Australia21's second report on illicit drugs policy released in September 2012 is available here


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