Political and legal institutions and their influence on drug policy: an Australian perspective
Place of Publication
Computing, Health and Science
Psychology and Social Science
Issues. Under a federal system of government, political power is separated and distributed between different institutions of government. The distribution of power to enact policies that influence alcohol and other drug use can impact on the associated harm. Approach. A description of the separation of powers under a federal system of government is followed by three case studies of alcohol and other drug policies which have been influenced by the use of power by different institutions of government. Key findings. Whether or not a policy is enacted depends upon who has the power to bring such a policy into being, who has the power to prevent its enactment and whether those with such power choose to use them. Conclusion. The enactment of policy is a political act, needing to be understood by those wishing to see evidence-based policies brought into being. An understanding of the separation of powers under a federal system of government is one aspect of the political process that those who work in the alcohol and other drug field need to understand.