[extract] These are intensely emotive issues. That does not excuse our rationally addressing them. Fortunately for most people, any trace of the romance possibly once injected by, as but two examples, Coleridge’s Kubla Khan or Cole Porter’s fashionable references to cocaine, has utterly vanished. Thinking responsible members of today’s community regard every aspect of the drug trade – production, supply, use – as a vicious, utterly distasteful blight upon humanity; and no doubt many users caught in the grip of addiction would also agree. But the sad fact is that unlawful drug use remains all too prevalent in our society. Australia has a comparatively high overdose death rate, said to be 32.8 persons per million of population annually compared with Britain’s 31.1, Sweden’s 28.4, France’s 3.9, Finland’s 3.7 and the Netherlands’ 2.1 – ‘The Canberra Times’ 12 March 1999.