CONTROVERSIAL Halton MEP Chris Davies hosted a meeting where a senior police representative said lives could be saved if illegal drugs were licensed.
Inspector Jim Duffy, chairman of Strathclyde Police Federation, was speaking at the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton at the invitation of Mr Davies, a leading campaigner for drug policy reform.
Inspector Duffy, part of Britain's second largest police force, said that so far prohibitionist policies had failed and that criminals would lose control of the drugs market if a licensing regime were established in its place.
He said: 'The police are not winning the war against illegal drugs.
'We are fighting hard, becoming smarter and sharper; but so are those we fight against.
'If the current rules of engagement do not change then we are destined to continue to fail.
'Lives could be saved if addicts purchasing regulated drugs could be sure of their strength and purity.'
Chris Davies has spoken out in favour of legalising drugs several times in his career.
He points out that more than 50% of burglaries in Britain are attributed to drug use and says this country has the highest rate of drug-assisted deaths in Europe.
Mr Davies added: 'By breaking the link with criminals and bringing drugs under licensed control we can save lives and reduce harm to the rest of society.'
The MEP even acquired a criminal conviction for his views, after holding a small quantity of cannabis resin stuck to a postage stamp to show his support for Dutch-style cannabis coffee shops at a political rally in 2002.
Source - http://iccheshireonline.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/runcornandwidnesweeklynews/tm_headline=drug-licensing-will--save-lives--%26method=full%26objectid=17877800%26siteid=50020-name_page.html