Green MSP Gillian Mackay

The Scottish Green Party has called for urgent reform of drug policy in the UK. The call comes after the publication of a new report from the UK Home Affairs Committee. The report suggests a range of reforms in drug law, including a review of drug classifications and the trial of safe consumption rooms.

The Party’s health spokesperson, Gillian Mackay MSP, said: “This is an important report that underlines the urgent need for change. The current system is badly dated and not fit for purpose. Successive governments have stuck to the same failed policies for far too long, and it has had a terrible human cost.

“Drug addiction is a public health issue and should be treated as one. There is a need to review classifications and to increase the range and availability of services, including safe consumption rooms which have an important role to play and are long overdue.”

Mackay went on to call for more wide-reaching reforms than recommended by the report. She suggested that the UK should be looking at decriminalisation of drugs. Mackay said: “We also need to be looking to, and learning from, countries like Portugal who have shown that decriminalisation of personal possession and a change to a health-led approach can offer support to people who need it and reduce some of the stigma with addiction.”

In addition, the Scottish Greens have called for drug policy to be fully devolved within Scotland. Mackay said: “Every death from drug misuse is an avoidable human tragedy. With full power over drug legislation Scotland can move on from our current broken system and focus on harm reduction and undoing the damage that has been done.”

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