A United Kingdom parliamentary Committee is calling for the decriminalization of drug possession. It is also requesting the government to establish places where people can smoke marijuana as this will go a long way in preventing death from drug overdoses.
On Monday, the Scottish Affairs Committee concluded that instead of the UK government viewing drug use as a criminal justice challenge, they should address it as a public health issue. This is after they consulted with health professionals, government agencies and scholars, as well as visiting other countries such as Portugal, whose drug policy reforms are advanced.
In a press release, the chair of the Scottish Affairs Committee (SAC), MP Pete Wishart, said that while conducting the inquiries, the panel heard devastating tales of how drug use is causing pain and suffering to the citizens. The people further observed that if any other illness were causing the death other than drugs, the government would have termed it as a public health issue and taken immediate action to minimize the incidences.
Wishart said that criminal justice has failed in curbing drug use. According to the SAC, the UK government should transfer the responsibility of developing drug policy from the Home Office to the Department for Health and Social Care.
Decriminalization of drugs is a move to try and solve the issue of drug use by reducing the stigma surrounding drug use and addiction and at the same time, encouraging people to go to rehab.
Last month, the Health and Social Care Committee said that drugs should not be categorized as a criminal justice matter. The panel further noted that the government should set up safe consumption sites and access to the anti-overdose medication, naloxone, should be extended. This makes the UK Scottish Affairs Committee the second in supporting drug decriminalization.
The establishment of safe consumption sites, for instance, like the one in Glasgow, would help in reducing the number of deaths caused by drug overdoses. They can also act a means through which the users can seek further help by, for instance, identifying the reason why they are using drugs. Safe consumption sites could help in fighting the drug crisis in Scotland, said the panel.
The government has been ignoring evidence of the importance of improving the drug policy. However, to reduce drug use and loss of life, the government must listen to the advice of the experts, starting with the committee’s report.
Drug decriminalization is gaining support because last month, the ruling party in Scotland voiced its support for the change in policy.
A report urging the government to work together with the provinces, municipalities, and law enforcement agencies to decriminalize drugs was released by the House of Commons Committee on Health.
It is believed that cannabis industry actors like Earth Science Tech Inc. (OTCQB: ETST) and Dama Financial see this growing interest in decriminalizing marijuana as the first steps towards realizing that the substance was unjustifiably demonized in the past.
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