Use Powers to Depenalise Drug Possession For Personal Use

Current evidence from Europe, USA and Australia shows that the persuit of harm reduction and treatment strategies are aided by decriminalisation of drug possession. This results in a reduction in drug related harms and deaths (eg HIV or HepC transmission), reduction in adolescent and problem drug use and reduced burdens to the criminal justice system. Decriminalsation also increases uptake of drug treatment and amount of drugs seized by police. Decriminalisation would require government legislation but depenalisation can be carried out by authorities under the direction of the police comissioner.


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  • Dave Page
    commented 2017-02-06 13:58:04 +0000
    This is something we campaigned on during the 2012 London Mayoral elections, with our best poster ever: https://politicaladvertising.co.uk/2012/04/20/brian-paddick-poster-police-are-wasted-on-cannabis/
  • Simon Hunter
    tagged this with impractical 2017-01-11 11:07:04 +0000
  • Simon Hunter
    tagged this with important 2017-01-11 11:07:04 +0000
  • Simon Hunter
    tagged this with good 2017-01-11 11:07:03 +0000
  • Phil Morris
    commented 2016-11-29 13:02:09 +0000
    Decriminalisation of drug possession which requires government legislation is unlikely in the next decade, despite the obvious benefits of legalising ‘soft’ drugs to allow tax revenues and reduce the police resources currently utilised. If depenalisation can be carried out by authorities under the direction of the police comissioner as a first step towards aiding harm reduction and treatment strategies, then this is a sensible policy for Greater Manchester.
  • Phil Morris
    tagged this with good 2016-11-29 13:02:08 +0000
  • Peter West
    commented 2016-11-21 22:49:40 +0000
    The BMA also supports evidence based policy and legislative change on drug consumption.

    http://www.bmj.com/content/355/bmj.i6067
  • James Stackhouse
    tagged this with important 2016-11-21 14:32:35 +0000
  • Liam O'Brien
    commented 2016-11-21 13:23:26 +0000
    I believe this is a great idea but more importantly, an achievable one. If this is made a central aspect of the campaign, we could make significant gains across Greater Manchester, which has the highest rates of cannabis consumption in Britain. If we can market this to the public as the first step to decriminalization of substances as a whole, and eventual legalization of cannabis in particular, we would draw huge support from the younger generations, and those in working class districts. We should also mention that the policy will enable the police to tackle the real crimes in our communities.
  • Liam O'Brien
    tagged this with good 2016-11-21 13:23:25 +0000
  • James Stackhouse
    commented 2016-11-17 21:54:52 +0000
    An intriguing policy idea, and I’d recommend this as a central policy commitment. I’d also add that I think there needs to be a full and complete comprehensive drug strategy, with police input, former users input, etc so the paths that lead to drug misuse are more strongly identified to prevent as much as possible. Re-funding and providing local services (youth clubs and well equipped librairies) so at risk youths, have less possibility of interaction with drug-sellers. Possibly ‘buddies’ to those most at risk, essentially to mental health service users, so they are not isolated after discharge, if they have limited social interactions, and therefore targetted by drug-pushers. Re-incentivising local businesses with tax breaks, to provide effective social clubs/venues, like internet cafes for lower income areas, and starbuck-esque cafes, that would appeal to a younger generation who don’t all have access to modern technology, in smaller towns/council areas would help promote more social interaction, so that people on lower incomes aren’t as isolated. (These are some possible ideas but drug-use is a lot of people’s first interaction with the criminal justice system across Western nations and therefore needs to be a corner stone of any crime policy)
  • Michael Ciotkowski
    commented 2016-11-16 21:49:06 +0000
    I believe that drug possession should not penalised, however addict must have mandatory rehabilitation to help reform and help the person to better themselves. Whereas dealer must have stricter sentencing, since they are destroying other’s lives.
  • Michael Ciotkowski
    tagged this with important 2016-11-16 21:49:06 +0000
  • Peter West
    published this page in You Policy Ideas 2016-11-14 20:50:24 +0000
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