Commissioner welcomes Westminster debate on drugs policy
Ron Hogg, Durham's Police and Crime Commissioner, has today welcomed the long overdue arrival of a more sensible debate on drugs policy.
The release of a Home Office report into international drugs policies by Lib Dem Minister Norman Baker has led to a coalition spat, on the day that Westminster MPs are debating the future of the Government’s drug policy.
Caroline Lucas MP is leading a debate calling for a new approach to drugs, supporting the views that, as PCC, Ron Hogg has courted national controversy by voicing.
Mr Hogg said: "As PCC I have been calling for a sensible debate on drugs policy. We need a new approach to drug addiction which supports addicts into recovery, rather than dealing with them through the Criminal Justice System. This is the way to break their cycle of offending, at the same time as choking the incomes of the real criminals – those drug dealers making money out of others’ misery”.
“But above all we need our leaders and policy-makers to have an evidence-based discussion about drugs, free from fear of the tabloids and knee-jerk cries that we are going soft. Those of us who have been saying this for some time will be pleased at today’s developments”.
Downing Street and the Home Office have been quick to respond to Norman Baker’s comments, and said there will be no change to current policy.
Mr Hogg said:
“The Government can’t stick its head in the sand and cuddle up to the tabloid press any longer. It must listen to the evidence and the views of more and more elected representatives up and down the country who recognise that we need a new approach.”
Mr Hogg is hosting a major symposium on 27th November in Durham to debate the future of drugs policy and to garner support for reform.
Posted on Thursday 30th October 2014