Tuesday, October 18, 2011

UK Government Officials Want to Decriminalize All Personal Drug Use

Possession of any drug for personal use should be decriminalized, the UK government's official drug advisers have recommended.

Tens of thousands of people caught with drugs ranging from heroin to cannabis would go on drug education courses rather than being punished in the courts under the proposals, The London Times reported Friday.

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs said the change would save police, courts, probation and prison services the costs of dealing with drug offenders. It would also allow more drug users to be assessed for treatment rather than being given criminal records.

The council's call to decriminalize the personal use of hard drugs such as heroin and cocaine puts it on a collision course with the government, which is opposed to any weakening of existing drug laws. Professor Les Iversen, chairman of the council, believes there is now an opportunity to be more creative in dealing with those who are caught in possession of drugs.

"For people found to be in possession of (any) drug for personal use (and involved in no other criminal offenses), they should not be processed through the criminal justice system but instead be diverted into drug education/awareness courses," the council said.

Read the rest of the story here.


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