Feb 14, 2018

Dope new study examines how we can tackle bikies

The problem of effective bikie laws, which have been alluding authorities for the better part of a decade, would do well to look at the undeniable affects that drug legalisation has on organised crime

Jason Murphy — Journalist and economist

Jason Murphy

Journalist and economist

Australia is in a dither about how to combat the bikie scourge. The Queensland government’s 2013 response to bikies was, at the time, the nation’s strongest. It included far-reaching anti-association laws, and went so far as to push for a bikie-only prison and mandatory additional 15- to 25-year sentences for crimes committed as part of a gang.

So much trampling on civil liberties was probably a bad idea, Queenslanders eventually decided. In 2016 the Newman government rode off into the sunset and Anastasia Palaszczuk watered down the more controversial parts of the laws.

Free Trial

Proudly annoying those in power since 2000.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

12 thoughts on “Dope new study examines how we can tackle bikies

  1. Ray Ray

    Frankly, it’s risible that the “sinful” pleasures are criminalised. Along with weed, prostitution is another area where organised crime has been given a free hand to wreak violence and suffering on the community by the righteous moralises in power. Has anyone noticed that no matter how much you punish people for having sex, they don’t seem to desire it less?

    For the doubters, please study the excellent materials available on the subject of prohibition in the United States. While you’re educating yourself, also view the Wikipedia articles on substance harm, especially the one visually describing them in terms of harm and dependence.

    I look forward to, and will vote for both of these “crimes” to be legalised and will sit back with comfort, knowing that my vote will reduce crime, and will increase taxes, putting the money in my (collective public) pocket, rather than in that of a criminal.

  2. 124C4U

    @ Jayson Murphy,
    Jay old buddy are you going to be SO deep in it when AR spots that “alluding”.

    1. AR

      Probably not Jay’s fault – he can blame that damned SpellCheck or lack of a literate sub editor.

  3. Itsarort

    You’ve mentioned Bikies and Mexican cartels but you’ve failed to mention the largest recipient of wealth via illegal drugs, the DEA.

  4. AR

    As noted by everyone from JS Mills to Ray-Ray above, the government has no business in protecting people from themselves nor legislating moral panics.
    I’ve watched SP bookies, prostitution and abortion all drop off the banned list because the public saw that the only effect was endemic corruption of police, pollies & judiciary.
    The miracle is that drug prohibition still seems to be a blank spot.
    Although the bien pissants Byron Bay seem to be intent of recriminalising skinny dipping.
    People is weird.

  5. gjb

    I’m all for the decriminalization of marijuana, I think its commercialization should be handled careful so not to promote its use, also alternative methods such as oral consumption would be preferable.
    I also believe that people should be permitted to grow their own, the likelihood they might start growing some food plants for themselves would increase and people benefit in many ways from increased self reliance.

  6. bref

    Why are we still debating this. We’ve known the solution to drug based criminality for over 100 years. The end of prohibition was the proof of the idea that taking away the market took away the criminality. Decriminalise drug use and we’ll destroy the black market. The crime rate will plummet, the death rate greatly reduced and prison numbers will nosedive. Do our politicians have the balls to do what criminologists, social workers and even some judges have been advocating for decades. Not a chance.

  7. David Francis

    Legalization of cannabis (within some serious guidelines re age and mental health) makes good common sense on so many levels. The bulk of the population agree, most politicians agree. But News Corp and 2GB will not allow it, and any politician knows the moment they step out of line on this subject, they’ll be slaughtered. For our Right-thinking media giants know that use of cannabis leads inexorably to communism, free-thinking, and disrespect of this country’s conservative values; and for the good of us all, it must be banned forever.

    1. AR

      DavidF – many in the 60s believed that once enough people turned on then the hypocrisy, injustice and greedy stupidity we saw all around would evaporate.
      Unfortunately, nasty people don’t want to feel giving as much as they like to take.
      When those freeks/heads chose simpler lives to enjoy life – mostly but not necessarily on the land – the breadheads just took the opportunity to rip off those unable to make that break and exploit them with everything from muzak to fashion to credulous flights-from-reason cults & crystal krapola.
      Decriminalisation cannot work because the supply will still be restricted – only full legalisation will cut “the criminals in their coats & ties” off at the knees.

      1. bref

        A combination of decriminalisation and help programmes have worked remarkably well in Portugal.

        1. AR

          True, but supply & sale is still a crime, just in Holland – the fudge is that individuals’ stashes are not busted.
          The Amsterdam coffee shops once sold 25gm (in the 60/70s) but legislative gnawing and worrying has reduced that to 5gms and horrendously expensive.
          BECAUSE. SUPPLY.

          1. bref

            AR, there’s a wealth of information online on what the effects 10 years of decriminalisation has had in Portugal. We don’t have to think what will happen, we know what happens! Portugal is not the only country, its just the most studied 1st world country. The EU is looking very closely at the results, but they’ll take years to actually do something and you know, of course, Australia will do nothing until America does.

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details