Today’s edition of The Guardian reports that a six-year study of Britain's drug laws by leading scientists, police officers, academics and experts has concluded it is time to introduce decriminalisation.
The report by the UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC), an independent advisory body, says possession of small amounts of controlled drugs should no longer be a criminal offence and concludes the move will not lead to a significant increase in use.
The experts say the criminal sanctions imposed on the 42,000 people sentenced each year for possession of all drugs – and the 160,000 given cannabis warnings – should be replaced with simple civil penalties such as a fine, attendance at a drug awareness session or a referral to a drug treatment programme.
Their report says the £3bn a year spent tackling illegal drugs is not based on any evidence of what works, with much of the money wasted on policies that are not cost-effective.
Sadly, as in this country, the Government's attitude will remain knee-jerk rather than evidence-based. The Home Secretary, Theresa May, last month ruled out any moves towards decriminalisation, saying it would lead to further problems.
Read the full account in The Guardian here.