Leading UK experts have called for all drugs to be legalised
They said ‘drug use is a health issue, not a criminal justice issue’
The UK’s leading health experts have called for all drugs to be legalised, saying: “The ‘war on drugs’ has failed”.
The landmark report argues that drug addiction must be regarded as a health problem rather than a crime.
The suggested reforms would see the decriminalisation of drug use and the regulation of drug sales by the state, although people making or dealing drugs would still be breaking the law.
The announcement, which is the first of its kind from leading medical organisations, said that current drug laws are failing to protect users.
The intervention came from the Royal Society for Public Health and the Faculty for Public Health, which are made up of public health experts from the NHS and councils.
The bodies argue that a focus on cutting use must be replaced with reducing the harms associated with drug abuse.
The aim is not to increase the use of drugs, but to encourage users to seek out treatment and advice.
Shirley Cramer, chief executive of the Royal Society for Public Health, said: “The time has come for a new approach, where we recognise that drug use is a health issue, not a criminal justice issue, and that those who misuse drugs are in need of treatment and support, not criminals in need of punishment.
“For too long, UK and global drugs strategies have pursued reductions in drug use as an end in itself, failing to recognise that harsh criminal sanctions have pushed vulnerable people in need of treatment to the margins of society, driving up harm to health and wellbeing.”
The suggestions come just days after the father of two boys killed by drugs bought from the dark web also called for legalisation.