'Drug laws are wrong in principle and ineffective in practice', says policy analyst

'Drug laws are wrong in principle and ineffective in practice', says policy analyst

Charity believe education and treatment are the best policy towards drug abuse

Thursday, June 16, 2016

After two leading health organisations claimed that the government's drug policy has failed, Steve Rolles from drug charity Transform says the laws are "wrong in principle".

The Royal Society for Public Health and the Faculty of Public Health have released a report, called Taking A New Line On Drugs, calling for greater focus on treatment for drug users and education rather than punishment.

Transform campaign for the legal regulation of drugs in the UK and internationally and advocate for strict regulation on drug trade.

"It's incredibly welcome when you have august public health societies and health agencies endorsing it," said Rolles, their senior policy analyst.

"Those laws are wrong in principle and ineffective in practice," he told Julia Hartley-Brewer. "Criminal law isn't there to educate people about drug risk, it's there to stop crime.

"It's a personal choice to do something with your body, there are lots of risky behaviours that we don't respond to using criminal measures."

Other countries such as Portugal have already decriminalised drugs, which he believes proves it would be a good move.

"Most drug use is not significantly harmful to the users. There are still a substantial amount of people who use drugs.

"We have a very singular policy that puts an enormous emphasis on punishment and criminalisation and the comparative evidence between countries.

"There's about 25 countries around the world that have gone down this road, and they don't have high levels of drug use like those countries that haven't."