Saturday, August 18, 2012
Drug deaths in Scotland reach highest ever level as Scotland’s incompetent Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill fails to get a grip, Alex’s pal, job safe!
Drugs are a major problem in society, for past decades there has been a phoney war on drugs which has failed miserably.
Politicians quick to jump on the bandwagon all lined up to say no to drugs as part of their anti crime credentials.
The retention of the status quo has seen drug cartels flourish and develop great wealth which they channel to other illegal activities and into legitimate business thereby increasing their wealth.
The solution to the drugs problem remains as it always was, bankrupting the market, and you can only bankrupt the market if you are in the market.
That means legalisation of drugs!
The idea is something I blogged on in the past but it remains the only answer. It is said the drug trade is worth £3.5 bn in Scotland.
So, from a law enforcement point of view, a financial point of view, a political point of view and also health perspective, it’s the way to go.
And of course we free up much more time of the police and the courts.
On health, we are able to better monitor people offering help and the treatment they so desperately need.
The reason of inaction is clear; deaths from drug abuse have reached a record level in Scotland.
Whose fault is that?
Well, it is the fault of every single government at both Westminster and Holyrood.
Much is made when a little tiny piece of drug money is confiscated or even a car is seized in the case of Kevin "Gerbil" Carroll.
I have put the picture in so illustrate how totally lacking in ambition the present SNP Government is, to them, seizing that car was a such a big deal that even the Justice Minister got his photo op in.
More than 580 people suffered a drug-related death last year, the highest total ever recorded and 20% more than the previous year's figure of 485.
This is the reality of not dealing properly with the drug problem by the current government, but to be fair to them they are paralysed and lacking in ideas, coupled with being scared.
Hence there is nothing new and certainly no solutions to solve the problem beyond the usual soundbytes.
One in every 100 deaths in Scotland last year was linked to drugs.
If the legalisation programme is introduced, many lives could be saved but unfortunately the SNP Government isn’t really a government for everyone.
Scotland's Community Safety Minister, Roseanna Cunningham, said no government had done more to address the legacy of decades of drug abuse than the SNP, and vowed to continue to tackle the tragedy.
Acknowledgement of decades and acknowledgement of incompetence, their ‘best’ just isn’t good enough, that’s the bottom line.
"Scotland has a legacy of drug misuse that stretches back decades, creating this upward 10-year trend in drug-related deaths."
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said 11 people a week on average were dying from the scourge of drugs and added:
"This appalling loss of life illustrates the human disaster that is the methadone programme. It would appear hundreds of families are being blighted by what is little more than legalised drug-taking on an industrial scale."
Ruth Davidson is trapped by dogma, in order to fund a new direction, a new source of revenue must be found for treatment, legalisation of drugs provides that money; it can provide better care and do so much. Politicians have always skirted round this issue, the reason is they don’t want to be labelled and attacked if legalisation is even thought of, easier to stay silent go along with the current dogma and blame others.
It is easy to continue as before and then stand up at conference to do the traditional law and order speech about how she would if elected would be; ‘tough on crime, tough on the causes of crime’.
Is it time that ‘tough’ was replaced by ‘smart’?
It is well known that sometimes in forestry the need may arise to burn down an area in order to make a firebreak, this way a problem can be contained and better managed.
Biba Brand, head of the Scottish Drug Forum's National Quality Development Programme said:
"Many of these people's lives have been chaotic, and their drug use has given them physical and mental health problems. Many have also had traumatic events in their lives”.
You can only fix these people’s problems if you get them in the system so that their lives can be turned around. These people aren’t the high flyers; they aren’t the future captains of industry or may not amount to anything because of their problems. However something can be done, should be done and needs to be done.
Deaths from drug abuse have reached a record level in Scotland.
Drug abuse is more than just a crime problem, it is a health problem and it needs to be tackled seriously, can anyone say it has when deaths are at record levels?
All the money from legalisation can be ploughed into treatment and community programmes which make society better.
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University