Swanswell welcomes MP drugs policy report

10 December 2012

A report calling for major reforms in Britain’s drugs policy is being welcomed by Swanswell.

The national recovery charity, which wants to achieve a society free from problem alcohol and drug use, is responding to today’s publication of the Home Affairs Committee – Ninth report, ‘Drugs: breaking the cycle’.

Written by an influential group of MPs, it said the current drugs policy in the UK isn’t working and made a number of recommendations to the government to avoid future generations being ‘crippled’ by the social and financial cost of substance misuse (reports the Independent). 

The report suggests a number of changes to policy including tougher measures on retailers selling legal highs which lead to death or serious health implications, and a review into the inclusion of convictions for simple possession of a controlled substance (opposed to dealing or other drug-related crime) in CRB checks after they have become spent.

In addition, the MPs called for a public debate on all alternatives of the current policy, as part of a Royal Commission that would examine the UK’s drugs policy.

Debbie Bannigan, Swanswell’s Chief Executive, said: ‘It’s clear the current drugs policy isn’t working as well as it could and there’s a need to re-think how we, as a nation, tackle the harms of substance misuse.

So we welcome today’s report from the Home Affairs Select Committee as a serious attempt at moving our drugs policy forwards and we hope the government will take a detailed look at some of the recommendations.

Some of which - including a review of how convictions for simple possession affect employment chances, making retailers legally responsible if they sell legal highs that cause serious harm or death, and calling for a public debate about alternatives to current policy - are a welcome start.

However, there is a lot of work to do and it’s not something any individual government, organisation or individual can do on their own – we all have a part to play.’

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