Fact Check-Screenshot of Australian Greens leader saying drug dealers act as ‘community elders’ is fabricated

The altered screenshot reads: “Yearly reminder that drug dealers aren’t to blame for your loved one’s banned drug-related problems. Quite the opposite: dealers often act as community elders, keeping an eye out for regulars and providing a stigma-free community connection point.” The screenshot also includes the supposed date that the tweet was sent: “Aug 9, 2022”.

Versions of the screenshot have attracted more than 150 reactions on Facebook (here) and were shared hundreds of times on Twitter (here), (here), (here), (here), often with criticisms or insults directed toward Brandt.

However, no such tweet appears on Brandt’s Twitter timeline (here) and, although many users tweeted about the screenshot to Brandt, none replied to any now-deleted tweets posted on that date about drugs (

“This is fake,” Jess McColl, Deputy Chief of Staff at the Australian Greens leader’s office told Reuters by email. “This message was not posted by Mr Adam Bandt and does not reflect his views on drug law reform.”

McColl also directed Reuters toward the Greens’ policy on safe drug use, which includes plans to “Legalise, tax and regulate cannabis to turn people away from the black market, because prohibition causes more harm than good” (here).


Altered. A screenshot that appears to show Adam Bandt saying on Twitter that drug dealers act as “community elders” is fabricated. No such tweet was sent.

This article was produced by the Reuters Fact Check team. Read more about our work to fact-check social media posts here.