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Drug debate

Is it time to decriminalise?

The "war" on drugs is over. It appears to have been lost.

A new report that calls for an end to the criminalisation of drug use has been backed by former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett.

But the idea has been rejected by a former drug addict, who now runs the Hader clinic.

Speaking on Melbourne Radio, Mr Kennett called for action.

"We spend a lot of money on road safety, a lot of money on anti-smoking, all of those sort of issues, and yet we as politicians and community seem to simply sit back and allow these people to die," he said on 3AW Drive.

Click PLAY to more from Jeff Kennett

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But Jackson Oppy said decriminalisation wasn't the answer.

"It isn't going to get any drug addicts well," he said.

"Decriminalising achieves very little."

He said the often-cited example of Portugal was hardly anything to point to.

"I was in Lisbon late last year and my experience was that the parks and gardens had become open air drug markets," Mr Oppy said.

"It's virtually impossible to venture into any of those areas without being offered drugs."