Loading Barry O’Farrell is entirely wrong to say that recreational drug users are incapable of rehabilitation. There is no evidence to support his view. The federal parliament’s work on the Misuse of Drugs Act has come under the scrutiny of clinical professionals, family and community communities, and court systems since its passage in February. One of its provisions requires prisons to run drug counselling, in which incarcerated people receive immediate help in stopping substance use. It also gives the police the power to confiscate property used in drug production, and it calls for a survey to explore the extent of drug prevalence in NSW. Other states and territories are considering similar changes. The Australian Council on Drugs reports that since the introduction of these new laws, there has been a significant decrease in illicit drug activity, as users have switched to alcohol. We expect this trend to continue. There has been a steady increase in the use of illicit drugs including amphetamines, cannabis, ecstasy, LSD, and tinctures over the past decade, which may have resulted in increased risk-taking behaviour, excessive alcohol use, and both criminal and mental health problems. The community’s response to substance abuse has been one of neglect, or poor prevention and early intervention. An increasing number of young people are now using illicit drugs because of their childhood experiences. As rates of usage have grown in the past decade, so have rates of mental illness associated with the addiction. Surveys have found that the number of young people seeking help for mental health problems has increased, particularly for both men and women. The NSW Greens oppose measures to test for addiction, because it violates an international agreement. Moreover, it creates a culture of drug-taking in schools. It also directly threatens families and hurts employers and communities. In his speech to the NSW O’Farrell Government’s Budget National Policy Session in May, acting Premier Brian Tink emphasised how important it was to reform State sentencing laws. The mooted introduction of mandatory long-sentence mandatory treatment sentences is alarming. It is a signal that mandatory drug treatment, or a brief out of jail sentence, is all it takes to get someone in a drug-affected state into rehabilitation. The state government claims that evidence shows that mandatory treatment sentences do not work; yet a culture of drug-taking in schools, and among teenagers, will only mean this can never happen in public places. We seek their public commitment to rein in the misuse of drugs in NSW, and encourage them to introduce sentencing reform.