Speaking on the news today, that the West Midlands PCC David Jamieson has launched a new initiative on drug -related harms, Lee Dargue, Health Spokesperson for the Liberal Democrats in the West Midlands, commented:
“This is a much-awaited, very welcome step towards reducing the harm to individuals, families and society in terms of drug use. For too long, we have allowed the proven failure of the punitive, criminal justice-led approach to drugs to direct our drugs policy, while failing to acknowledge evidence-based alternatives.
“This ‘head in the sand’ approach literally causes suffering, illness and death. It cannot be allowed to continue. The harms associated with drugs are well-known, as are the tools for tackling them – yet successive governments have yet to offer an enlightened response, despite the LibDems in coalition arguing for evidence to be taken over fear and panic.
“We now have growing evidence in this country, from schemes in Durham and Bristol, that taking a progressive and sensible approach to drugs works. Not only does this help reduce health and social harms, it is practical in terms of saving money, police time and, most importantly, lives.
Supporting all of the actions and proposals, Lee also asked for Birmingham Council to take note:
“I particularly welcome the support for people in the night time economy. Unfortunately this may be too late for the Rainbow Venues (hopefully their appeal will be successful), after the heavy-handed approach of Birmingham City Council, but we can work to prevent any more unnecessary deaths or venue closures.
Concluding, Lee added:
“It’s time we moved beyond fear-driven policies directed at people who use drugs, which are proven to fail and cause harm. LibDems have an evidence-based and practical approach to drugs policy, so I welcome David Jamieson and West Midlands police’s approach, which they should be commended for, and I support them wholeheartedly.”
The West Midlands PCC today launched his new initiative:
LibDems have an existing policy calling for the regulated market for Cannabis: