Drug Possession Sanctions To Be Reduced – Recommends a UKDPC Report

New drug law to be considered, as the one, which is 40 years old no longer fits the purpose. The UK drug Policy commission is determined to review the current clauses and update them in accordance with the 21st century requirements.

A report called A Fresh Approach to Drugs has been published and the recommendations proposed by the UK drug policy commission are part of it.

The Fresh Approach to Drugs reviews the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act and concludes that back to the 1970s, when it was created, the drugs and their use were different than the new drug culture to an extend which requires full revision and low changes.“The Act was not designed to deal with such high levels of use nor the rapid development of new drugs.”

One of the aspects, where the changes have been propesed to take effect is the sanctions for drug possession. It raised many questions, due to its controversial nature – it recommended that some reductions in the sanctions for drug possession should be considered. According to the report, posessesion of small amounts of controlled substances for for personal use could be reduced to a civil matter, punishable by a fine or referral to a drug treatment programme.

“Given the experience of other countries, our assessment is that we do not believe this would materially alter the levels of use,” adds the report, “while allowing resources to be spent on more cost-effective measures to reduce harm associated with drug use.”

Another important point in the report is the recommendation for managing new and already working ways to help addicts and their families, as well as to find the stigma related to drug addiction “…tackling the damaging stigma towards people with drug problems will be vital to provide a foundation and then an environment in which recovery is possible.”

Although the UKDPC is passionate about it recommendations, the Home Office does not seem to be that enthusiastic about it.

A spokeswoman said ”While the Government welcomes the UKDPC’s contribution to the drugs debate we remain confident that our ambitious approach to tackling drugs – outlined in our Drugs Strategy – is the right one.

”Drug usage is at its lowest level since records began. Drug treatment completions are increasing and individuals are now significantly better placed to achieve recovery and live their lives free from drugs.”

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