Local MP says “It is time for reform. UK drug laws need radical change”

Local MP Norman Baker and former Home Office Minister has renewed his call for changes to drug laws.

In October, as Crime Prevention Minister he published a ground-breaking Government study, “Drugs: International Comparators” despite opposition from Tories in the Home Office. The civil service report found that the severity of criminal sanctions against drug users makes no difference to rates of drug use, but finding that treating possession of drugs as a health matter rather a criminal one does reduce drug-related deaths and HIV/AIDS infection rates and does not lead to a long-term increase in drug use.

Norman saysThe so-called war on drugs isn’t working. It’s time for a new approach to UK drugs policy”

“The Liberal Democrats believe drugs policy should be based on evidence, not dogma or the desire to sound tough. If you are anti-drugs you should be pro-reform.

“For too long successive governments have been unwilling to look at the evidence. This comprehensive report shows that there are better ways to tackle drug addiction and supply and so save lives and cut crime.

“It’s time for a radical change in British drugs policy. The fact is we should spend more time and effort cracking down on the Mr Bigs and criminal gangs who traffic drugs rather than on users and addicts who should be helped to recover, not put behind bars.”