Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF) in spending cuts warning, time to debate legalisation of drugs as Holyrood Election issue

Dear All

Drugs should be legalised in Scotland.

The war on drugs is a phoney war, it can never be won in a final decisive battle, and it will not stop despite initiatives and rhetoric from politicians.

And we as we know, the effects of illegal drug taking are vast and go beyond communities.

The Scottish Drugs Forum (SDF) says in their annual report that the number of people with drug problems in Scotland could rise.

The reason for their concern is the impact of spending cuts on vulnerable communities and people.

If you live in an urban ghetto you already face an uphill struggle to get equality and social opportunities.

When the cuts start to bite, you will see reduced job opportunities, higher unemployment, cuts in welfare benefits, changes to social care services and maybe health cuts as budgets get squeezed.

This will seriously affect the lives of people already living with drug problems.

It may also push people towards drugs out of boredom or lack of hope.

By making drugs legal, the Government can tap into a supply of liquidity which previously has gone solely to the criminal class.

The present system signed up to by all political parties is ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’.

And it doesn’t work.

Also some people who front that opinion don’t get elected either.

For example Annabel Goldie is the Leader of the Scottish Conservatives.

She is also publicly unelected as she can only be an MSP via the list system.

Party Leader but publicly unelectable!

‘Tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’ may appeal to the Tory clique but doesn’t wash with the general public.

It is time to be ‘smart on crime.’

That is why drugs should be legal; legalisation can solve many problems in a single stroke.

Courts, Police, Health Service, and Finance can immediately benefit and more importantly people in vulnerable communities.

Drugs are a business and like any business, it can be bankrupt or made unviable by others.

One of the arguments fronted against legalisation is drugs kill.

It is true, drugs can kill a person but so does tobacco and alcohol, and they are legal.

I proposed at my party’s National Assembly a single Scottish National Police Force last September because protecting frontline services is important.

Also the Police needed genuine reform which benefits them and the public.

However, my idea is just one piece in a wider Scottish puzzle; another segment is legalisation of drugs.

It costs us as taxpayers a staggering £3.5billion in Scotland to deal with the aftermath of illegal drug taking plus addicts fund an illegal drugs trade worth £1.4billion a year.

There is a better way to deal with this problem but it can only come through legislation.

Political Parties have to move forwards and be radical.

I was right last September on the Police and I am right regarding drugs legalisation.

Unfortunately politicians just need to catch up with me.

Holyrood 2011 can be decided if someone brings policies of substance to the table.

Isn’t 30 years of abject failure enough in Scotland?

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

1 comment:

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