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  • October 30th, 2014

Current Drug Policy ‘has no impact on use’


An official Government study has found that drug use is not affected by the “toughness” of a country’s enforcement on possession of substances.

The study saw no increase in drug use when it looked into Portugal’s drug laws, where possession of drugs is treated as a health matter rather a criminal issue.

The study also monitored the Czech Republic after drugs were criminalised, only to cause a rise in the crime rate.

The Government now going to monitor the results in Uruguay and some US states that have recently legalised possession of cannabis.

The report said: ‘It is not clear that decriminalisation has an impact on levels of drug use. Looking across different countries, there is no apparent correlation between the “toughness” of a country’s approach and the prevalence of adult drug use.’

Danny Kushlick, founder of the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, said: “This is a historic moment in the development of UK drug policy.

“For the first time in over 40 years the Home Office has admitted that enforcing tough drug laws doesn’t necessarily reduce levels of drug use. It has also acknowledged that decriminalising the possession of drugs doesn’t increase levels of use.”

Despite the report a Home Office spokesperson said: “This Government has absolutely no intention of decriminalising drugs.” Stating that the current “drugs strategy is working and there is a long-term downward trend in drug misuse in the UK.”

Crime prevention minister, Norman Baker, said: “From today we will start looking into the feasibility of a blanket ban on new psychoactive substances across the whole of the UK, clamping down on the suppliers and head shops rather than the users.

“This approach had a dramatic impact on the availability of ‘legal’ highs when introduced in Ireland, but we must ensure it would work here too.”

For more information on drug laws visit our dedicated website.

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