05 Mar Why Doesn’t Jeremy Browne, The LibDem Drugs Minister, Support LibDem Drugs Policy?

Jeremy Browne MP Jeremy Browne MP

This is the most progressive, intelligent and evidence-based drugs policy of any major UK political party. It was passed by the Liberal Democrat party conference in September 2011.

It pre-empted the recommendations of last years HASC drugs inquiry and is in line with what is now mainstream opinion of virtually all well-informed policymakers. Yet now we have a Liberal Democrat drugs minister who is enforcing the cruel, dangerous and irrational drugs policy pursued by previous Labour and Tory governments. It is a policy that actually causes harm, wastes huge amounts of taxpayers’ money and denies access to those who need cannabis as medicine. It is a policy that by any rational evaluation is an abject failure.

What are you up to Jeremy Browne?

Conference calls for:

1. The Government to immediately establish an independent panel tasked with carrying out an Impact Assessment of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, to properly evaluate, economically and scientifically, the present legal framework for dealing with drugs in the United Kingdom.

2. The panel also to consider reform of the law, based on the Portuguese model, such that:

a) Possession of any controlled drug for personal use would not be a criminal offence.
b) Possession would be prohibited but should cause police officers to issue citations for individuals to appear before panels tasked with determining appropriate education, health or social interventions.

3. The panel also to consider as an alternative, potential frameworks for a strictly controlled and regulated cannabis market and the potential impacts of such regulation on organised crime, and the health and safety of the public, especially children.

4. The reinvestment of any resources released into effective education, treatment and rehabilitation programmes.

5. The widespread provision of the highest quality evidence-based medical, psychological and social services for those affected by drugs problems; these services should include widespread availability of heroin maintenance clinics for the most problematic and vulnerable heroin users.

6. The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs to retain a majority of independent scientific and social scientific experts in its membership and no changes to drug laws be made without receiving its advice as per the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act.