Former West Australian premier Geoff Gallop has called for the decriminalisation of all drug use after becoming the first Australian member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy.
The Rhodes Scholar decriminalised cannabis possession for personal use in WA in 2004, but the laws were repealed by the Liberals in 2011.
He says he backs evidence-based policies that are humane for drug users and reduce harm in the broader community, such as needle exchange programs and injecting centres, but suppliers should still face criminal charges.
"How does making a drug user a criminal help in any shape or form deal with, what for many of them, is a health issue?
"Where we're pragmatic and sensible, we get good results," Professor Gallop told ABC radio on Tuesday.
In a statement, the former Labor leader said it was important that Australia learnt from the experiences of other countries.
"There are jurisdictions that had moved to decriminalise personal drug use, to prioritise health and rights, or even to legally regulate some substances, and they have not experienced the subsequent expansion in drug use that was predicted by opponents," he said.
Australian Associated Press