Cross Party MSPs Launch Landmark Petition to Tackle Drug Death Crisis
On Thursday 18th July a cross party group of MSPs are launching a landmark petition to push the Scottish and UK Governments to reconsider their approach to drug use and how it is policed in Scotland.
Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP (Scottish Liberal Democrats), Neil Findlay MSP (Scottish Labour), John Finnie MSP (Scottish Green Party), and Alex Neil MSP (SNP) have collectively launched the petition to push the Scottish Government towards action given the fact Scotland has the EU’s highest rate of drug deaths
The text of the petition reads
Scotland is experiencing what can only be described as a drug death crisis.
We have one of the highest levels of drug deaths in the world – with the situation getting worse each year.
We cannot continue as we are.
We, the undersigned, demand immediate action to address the levels of addiction, overdose and deaths associated with drugs use in Scotland.
We call on the Scottish and UK Governments to address this major public health crisis by taking an evidence led approach to policy that examines all options, including decriminalisation.
This unprecedented step calls for the governments of Scotland and the UK to take an evidence based approach to what is now a public health crisis, including the radical step of considering decriminalisation of certain drugs.
Portugal decriminalised personal possession of drugs in 2001 and implemented a major harm reduction and public health programme. Drug deaths subsequently fell from more than 1,000 a year to around 50 per year.
The Cross Party Group of MSPs said:
“We cannot arrest our way to a drug-free society. We have to deal with this crisis as a public health problem, rather than pretend it will go away with tougher sentences and a harsher regime for those caught in possession. This is fanciful and delusional thinking.
“The governments in Edinburgh and London have to rethink their approach and start to realise that record numbers of people are dying on our streets. This is avoidable and we have a responsibility to recognise that the current model is not working.
“As a cross party group of MSPs we are calling on both governments to change course, before it is too late.”
You can sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/the-scottish-government-end-scotland-s-drug-crisis