John McGeary Senior Constable (retired) Victoria Police "Through LEAP, I hope to break down the barriers between licit and illicit drugs so that all drug treatment is viewed as the same."
John McGeary is a retired Senior Constable who believes regulation and control, through legalization, will be a better way of dealing with drug issues than drug prohibition. There are, according to John, six primary reasons why we need change and his long career of lecturing enables him to explain them clearly. He believes less harm would accrue in a regulated marketplace while extensive publicity and education on the negative effects of drugs, as is currently done with tobacco, would make drug use less attractive for disaffected young people. Of all the drugs, he sees alcohol as the most problematic.
John knew from his 30 years as a policeman that he wanted to help young people. For several years before retirement, he was a Police Youth Officer working proactively with youth and their welfare workers. His duties included lecturing on drug education in the secondary schools, so when Senior Constable McGeary retired in 1999, he began study for a degree in the field.
John did his National Service with the Australian Army in the Royal Australian Army Provost Corps - the Military Police and served the last twenty of his service at Bacchus Marsh in Melbourne's outer west. He ran for State Parliament in 2000. Though not elected, he achieved the largest swing in votes to the Liberal Party in the 4th safest Labor seat in Victoria. Though McGeary chose to not run for other political offices, he authored a report to the Party detailing the benefits of decriminalizing heroin use which met with support from Party members and former associates of his in the police department.
In 2001 he joined MacKillop Family Services caring for young people in residential care. Soon, he moved to DASWest, the drug & alcohol department of Western Health, as a drug and alcohol clinician responding to heroin overdoses. His interest in the legalization of drugs escalated when he began to specialize in drug and alcohol treatment following completion of his Graduate Diploma in Substance Abuse Studies. John continues his work at DASWest as an outreach worker offering treatment options to users, particularly the homeless and others unable to access these vital services. Until recently, John also worked with youth for the Shire of Melton reaching out to young people on weekend nights. Lecturing on binge drinking was among his numerous other duties.
The eldest of six children, John resides in Melton with his wife Lesley where he owns and operates a local restaurant.