Ever wondered why the UK was still so strict on drug laws? Well, it turns out there may be a good reason. According to explosive new claims from the former deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, the government may be lying to us to prevent drug decriminalisation: with Home Secretary Theresa May reportedly altering a 2014 report that called for global law reform.
The Liberal Democrat MP told The Guardian that May “didn’t like the conclusions” of the report, which apparently found no link between illegal drug use and harsh drug laws. Titled ‘Drugs: International Comparators’, it claimed that there wasn’t “any obvious relationship between the toughness of a country’s enforcement against drug possession and levels of drug use”.
These conclusions were drawn after looking at data from Portugal, where drugs have been legal since 2001. The report revealed that there have apparently been “considerable” health improvements in the country, and hinted that there may be benefits in treating drug possession as a health issue, rather than a criminal issue.
Despite this, Clegg claims that the Home Secretary attempted to delete sentences from the original paper, in a bid to stop any further conversation about potential drug legalisation. He revealed that the original draft had been subject to an “endless wrangle between Lib Dem ministers and Theresa May about the fullness of what would be published”. May allegedly went on to stress that there would be no drug reform whatsoever as long as she led the Home Office.
“I think part of the problem is that for some of (the Conservatives) when you say drugs to them, they think of Notting Hill dinner parties,” Clegg told The Guardian. “They think it is all a slightly naughty recreational secret. They don’t think of whole countries, like Colombia that has been brought to its knees. They don’t think of some very unscrupulous criminal gangs who are preying on people who we should be protecting rather than chucking in jail.”
This news comes just months after Ireland announced their plans to decriminalise all drugs; making personal use of heroin, cannabis and cocaine completely legal. The UK, however, is refusing to be swayed on the subject.
“The UK's approach on drugs remains clear: we must prevent drug use in our communities and help dependent individuals to recover, while ensuring our drugs laws are enforced,” revealed the Home Office in a statement. “Decriminalising drugs would not eliminate the crime committed by their illicit trade, nor would it address the harms and destruction associated with drug dependence.”
“The International Comparators Study does not say there is no link or impact between tough penalties and drug use,” they added. “It makes clear that approaches to drugs legislation and enforcement of drugs possession are only one element of a complex set of factors that affect drugs use, including prevention, treatment and wider social and cultural factors.”
By Dominique Sisley - Dazed/april 19, 2016
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UK's Government ‘Altered’ Drug Report to Eliminate Their Chance of Legalisation