Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home News UK

All drugs should be decriminalised, say the Liberal Democrats

Published 23/06/2015

Tories' former coalition partners also put medical cannabis on the agenda
Tories' former coalition partners also put medical cannabis on the agenda

All drugs should be decriminalised for personal use and cannabis should be fully legalised as a medical treatment, the Liberal Democrats have said.

The party has tabled amendments to the Government’s Psychoactive Substances Bill which seeks to ban most legal drugs.

Brian Paddick, the party’s Home Affairs spokesperson and a former police officer, said in a statement that the Conservative approach to drugs policy was “doomed to failure”.

“These new psychoactive substances - or legal highs - only exist because our current approach to drugs is failing. Instead of tackling the danger of these new drugs, this Bill is likely to make things worse,” he said.

"When I was a police officer, I realised that locking up drug users is simply not the answer.  We have to learn the lessons of why our current approach is failing before we make the same mistakes with new psychoactive substances as we have done with other illegal drugs.

"Decriminalising personal possession will free up vital police resources to go after drug dealers, ensure addicts get treatment and social users get the education they need to keep them safe.”

Decriminalisation for personal use would not equate to full legalisation but would mean someone could not be punished criminally for possessing the drugs.

Read more

Richard Branson: UN to call on governments around the world to decriminalise all drugs

Legalising cannabis in the UK 'would raise hundreds of millions and produce huge savings for the justice system,' Treasury study finds  

Mature debate on cannabis use is long overdue  

Law's gone to pot, time for cannabis decriminalisation  

Treatment would still be available and those who sold drugs could still be punished, depending on the specifics of the legislation.

Such an approach has been tried in Portugal, where it has produced largely positive but also mixed results.

The country has seen reduced deaths amongst drug users since instituting the policy as well as increased uptake of treatment.

Critics however note that general drug use has increased, though proponents say that “problem” drug use is in fact down.

The country has additionally seen significant savings to the criminal justice system.

In the United States 23 out of the country’s 50 states currently permit medical cannabis, with more states pending legislation.

The Liberal Democrat 2015 election manifesto contained a slightly less emphatic pledge to ensure that no one arrested for possession of drugs for personal use ended up with a criminal record.

The party had also said it was keen to establish a review to assess the effectiveness of cannabis legalisation in some US states and Uruguay.

Independent

Further reading

US cops raid marijuana shop, 'eat products' and joke about kicking disabled employee

LSD: Trials underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

Sarandon: Replace alcohol with weed  

Texas Republican backs legalisation of marijuana because it 'came from God'  

Morgan Freeman wants marijuana legalised: 'However it comes! I'll eat it, drink it, smoke it, snort it'

Legal highs: What will be affected by the 'blanket ban' and what are the punishments if caught?  

Barack Obama lends support to marijuana legalisation: 'We should follow the science not the ideology'  

Bans on psychedelic drugs such as magic mushrooms and MDMA are 'inconsistent with human rights'

Northern Ireland cannabis party Cista launches manifesto  

LSD may actually be good for you, says study

Dr Albert Hofmann: The father of LSD

Research into magic mushroom treatments for depression stalled because of absurd rules: claim

LSD and MDMA 'should be decriminalised,' says former drug advisor Professor David Nutt

LSD 'may aid alcoholism treatment'

Revealed: Dentist who introduced Beatles to LSD

LSD cured my headaches

LSD inspired BBC Doctor Who changes

Georgia latest US state to legalise medical marijuana

Marijuana kills cancer cells, says US government-funded research

Peter Robinson's anger over party political broadcast for cannabis campaign party Cista in Northern Ireland

Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Cannabis extracts can 'dramatically slow' growth of brain cancer tumours, new research suggests

Cannabis 'could cut tumour growth'

'Cannabis gave me my life back'  

Privateer start-up planning Bob Marley-branded weed has just raised $75 million in funding and has backing from Paypal founder Peter Theil

Marijuana legalisation in Colorado: Thousands of jobs created, $60m taxes raised and crime is falling as police admit 'everything is fine'

Weed is 114 times less deadly than alcohol, study finds  

Dutch mayors want to grow marijuana

Cannabis college: Oaksterdam University in California offers world's only course in marijuana cultivation

Denver Post appoints ‘weed editor’ after Colorado legalises marijuana

Washington becomes first US state to legalise marijuana possession

Gourmet US eatery cooking with weed

Independent News Service

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph