Police Federation

Public debate needed on future of drugs legislation

19 June 2018

The lead on drugs policy for the Police Federation of England and Wales calls for a public debate on the future of drugs legislation.

A debate was sparked after former leader of the Conservative party, William Hague, urged Theresa May to legalise cannabis, saying the UK’s drug policy is “inappropriate” and “utterly out of date”.

This comes following the announcement today from the Home Secretary to launch a review into the medical use of cannabis.

Simon Kempton said: “It is clear that the current legislation which prohibits the possession, consumption and supply of substances under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 does not work. 

“The proliferation of drugs in this country is unchecked and the current situation is fuelling an illicit trade in not only drugs but weapons and the violence that comes with it.

“There is mounting empirical evidence of alternative approaches to the drugs problem around the world for us to explore which are more effective and bring far more benefits to society financially and with fewer people finding themselves in either medical or criminal justice systems.

“Although the police service will continue to uphold the laws passed by Parliament - a public debate is needed on the future of drugs legislation, incorporating health, education and enforcement programmes.

“Let me be clear - we are not supporting the legalisation of drugs or the de-criminalising of drugs we are simply saying that, 100 years after the introduction of prohibition in the UK, it is time to reflect on whether this is the most effective way of curtailing illicit drug use and the social problems that come with it.”

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