The war on drugs has failed and should be abandoned in favour of policies that treat addiction as a health problem, according to high-profile public figures including former heads of MI5 and the Crown Prosecution Service.
Leading peers – including prominent Tories – say that despite governments worldwide drawing up tough laws against dealers and users over the past 50 years, illegal drugs have become far more easily accessible. Vast amounts of money have been wasted on unsuccessful crackdowns, while criminals have made fortunes importing drugs into this country, they argue.
The increasing use of the most harmful drugs, such as heroin, has also led to "enormous health problems", according to the group.
The peers, along with MPs, have formed an all-party parliamentary group on drug policy reform that is calling for policies to be drawn up on the basis of scientific evidence.
It could lead to calls for the Government to decriminalise drugs, or, at least, for the police and Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute people for possession of small amounts of banned substances. Read more