Tommy Sheppard MP has called for the UK government to act following the release of the report ‘Problem drug use in Scotland’ by the Scottish Affairs Committee today. At Mr Sheppard’s instigation the committee undertook a six-month investigation into the problem.
The Edinburgh East MP says the committee’s report is clear in its call for the UK government to adopt a public health approach to problem drug use, and recommends decriminalising the possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use.
Tommy Sheppard said :“The evidence the Scottish Affairs Committee has taken during the course of this inquiry has been overwhelming. Treating drug use as a criminal justice matter is not working. People are dying. The UK government cannot just dismiss this report out of hand. It must act on the evidence.
“The evidence backs up what I, and many of my colleagues have been saying for some time. As the report says – decriminalisation is a pragmatic response to problem drug use. Following a motion, I proposed at our conference last month, the SNP unanimously adopted this as party policy. It’s time for the UK government to step up.
“In Parliament I have been campaigning for drug law reform for the last two years. I am about to cease being a Member of Parliament but if I get back my first question to the Secretary of State for Scotland will be to ask if he will support the committee’s recommendations and work for a change in government policy to save lives.”