Monday, October 15, 2007

North Wales Police Authority endorse call for the legalisation and regulation of drugs

Transform Drug Policy Foundation news release
15th October 07
no Embargo

North Wales Police Authority endorse call for the legalisation and regulation of drugs

North Wales Police Authority have endorsed a report from the North Wales Chief Constable that calls for the repeal of drugs prohibition and its replacement with an effective system of legal regulation and control for all drugs.

The report, which argues that the current system is ‘unworkable and immoral’, has had its three first recommendations endorsed by the Police Authority today:

2.1 That the Authority submits a response to the current Home Office consultation on drugs strategy.

2.2 That the Authority submits a response to the forthcoming Welsh Assembly Government consultation on the all Wales substance misuse strategy.

2.3 That the Authority urges the repeal of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and its replacement with a Misuse of Substances Act, based upon a new ‘hierarchy of harm’ that includes alcohol and nicotine.

The fourth recommendation; for the Police Authority to affiliate to Transform, is pending discussions between the Authority and Transform:

2.4 That the Authority seeks affiliation to Transform Drug Policy Foundation which campaigns for the repeal for prohibition and its replacement with a legal system of regulation and control.

Transform director Danny Kushlick said

“It is hugely significant that the call for a legal regulation and control of drugs has now been publicly supported by the North Wales police authority, and they are to be congratulated in taking a bold stand in this urgent and vital debate. There are many high profile individuals who support this position but this sort of institutional support really puts the debate centre stage. We hope to see other police authorities following their lead and we look forward to the Police Authority affiliating to Transform in the near future.

“The Government have tried their best to avoid this debate in the current drug strategy consultation and review process, not engaging with any policy alternatives despite the obvious failings of the current approach that the North Wales police highlight so clearly. The call from the North Wales Police Authority makes the continued evasion from meaningful debate impossible: the Government must now engage with the significant and growing body of mainstream opinion calling for pragmatic moves away from prohibition towards evidence based regulatory alternatives.£


Notes to editors

Read the full report from North Wales Chief constable Richard Brunstrom here

Transform Drug Policy Foundation


paulus said...

Current policy on drugs is futile. It is doing far more harm than good. There is little doubt that it contributed to the death of Rhys Jones and it makes Britain a more dangerous place. The cost of crime resulting from drugs policy is probably far higher than the cost of damage inflicted by terrorists because it happens daily.

Worse, the government policy is hypoctritical: "do as I say and not what I do” is the attitude. Ministers and leaders of the opposition who got away with it in their youth still want to criminalise those who get caught now. And they are happy to give honours to celebrities who acknowledge taking drugs. Admitted user Sir Elton John was a close friend of the Royal family and was prominent in the funeral ceremony of Diana Princess of Wales.

The latest excuse: that marijuana is stronger than it used to be; does not hold water. If it were legalised and controlled the strength would not be an issue because strength levels could be regulated. An age limit could be placed on purchasers at licensed premises and the illegal trade would be easier to shut down.

It is a horrible case of one law for the oiks another for the toffs.

It is great that a senior policeman has the courage to stand up and point out that the policy has failed.

I have written about this in detail at

Anonymous said...

Mind and mood altering substances keep us all going one way or another. Equality for all drugs. People are addicts, drugs is drugs.

Anonymous said...

Nice to see these issues in the media and glad to see Transform involved in them!

Good work!