SCOTTISH POLICE IN CALL TO LEGALISE ALL DRUGS
Thursday April 13 2006
POLICE officers are calling for all drugs to be legalised in Scotland . In a hugely controversial move, an influential group of frontline officers is demanding a radical change in the law. They say that even Class A drugs such as cocaine and heroin should no longer be illegal. The call comes from rank and file police in the country's biggest force who say radical measures are essential to tackle the spiralling drug problem.
Strathclyde Police Federation which represents nearly all 7,700 officers in the area, says all drugs should be licensed for use by addicts. The Association says millions of pounds are wasted on futile efforts to tackle the issue, with resources diverted from other police duties.
Inspector Jim Duffy, chairman of the federation, said the approach to drug abuse must be transformed in order to cut the death toll. He said: ”We should legalise all drugs currently covered by the Misuse of Drugs Act – everything from class A to C, including heroin, cocaine and speed.
“We are not winning the war against drugs and we need to think about different ways to tackle it. Tell me a village where they are drug-free?”
He added: “Despite the amount of resources and the fantastic work our girls and guys do, we are not making a difference. We don't have any control at the moment.
Strathclyde Police Federation plans to table a discussion motion at the body's forthcoming national conference to garner support from officers across Scotland.
Notes for Editors
Comment from Transform Director Danny Kushlick :
"For a policy that aims to eliminate drug supply and use, it has failed in spectacular style. Over the last 40 years illegal drug use has risen by at least 300%. Attempts to curtail drug supply have been equally ineffective, with drugs now cheaper and more available than ever before. Billions in taxpayer's money are being spent each year on a policy that is acheiving the exact opposite of its stated aim
"When high demand for drugs collides with laws that prohibit them, the result is a dramatic rise in drug prices, with low value commodities becoming, quite literally, worth more than their weight in gold. The hugely lucrative opportunities this creates attract the violent criminal entrepreneurs who now control the worlds largest criminal market, worth £300 billion a year.
"inflated drug prices mean that low income dependent drug users often resort to property crime or prostitution to support their habits. the Government estimates that this relatively small population of dependent heroin and cocaine users is now responsible for 54% of robberies, 70-80% of burglaries, 85% of shoplifting and 95% of street prostitution. in addition prohibition criminalises millions of (otherwise law abiding) drug using adults, making it unparalelled in its contribution to prison overcrowding and the wider crisis in the criminal justice system.
"This is not a debate that invites fence sitters and Strathclyde police federation has courageously climbed down