£750 million wasted, because the law on drugs is reserved to Westminster

Sunday Post

The Sunday Post is not always rubbish but this headline story is.

We all, nearly, agree that prosecuting and jailing addicts is a waste of time, money and lives.

From BBC Glasgow & West only last month:

It is now more than four years since Glasgow City Council first proposed allowing users to take their own drugs under the supervision of medical staff at a special facility in the city.

The idea is to encourage users who inject heroin or cocaine on Glasgow’s streets to enter a safe and clean environment.

It is hoped the special room would encourage addicts into treatment, cut down on heroin needles on city streets and counter the spread of diseases such as HIV.

The so-called “fix rooms” are already operating in some overseas countries but this would be the first of its kind in the UK.

They have the support of the Scottish government but drug laws are reserved to Westminster.

The House of Commons committee that investigated Scotland’s drug crisis recommended new legislation to provide for safe drug consumption facilities but it was rejected in the UK government’s response to its report.



All UK drugs misuse legislation is currently reserved to Westminster.

The 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act bans the possession, supply, manufacture, import and export of controlled drugs except by licence.

A cross-party Westminster committee – chaired by SNP MP Pete Wishart but including four Conservative MPs, three Labour members, two Lib Dems and two other SNP MPs – found that decriminalisation was a “public health” approach that could cut the stigma around problem drug use and encourage people to seek treatment.

Schemes elsewhere channel drug addicts committing low level crimes into treatment instead of jail.

Police Scotland’s Assistant Chief Constable Steve Johnson called for radical reform, saying politicians should have the “confidence and courage” to decriminalise.

He said the criminal justice process was actually pushing people into a place where there was more harm.

The woman leading the Scottish government’s drugs taskforce, Prof Catriona Matheson, told BBC Scotland the evidence for decriminalisation was strong.

She said: “It is about not putting these marginalised drug users into prison because that further marginalises them and that makes the recovery all the more difficult.”

The UK government later rejected the report’s recommendation to reform the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act and decriminalise drugs for personal use.


Is BBC Glasgow & West unsupervised by Sarah?

Is there any point in the Post article?

6 thoughts on “£750 million wasted, because the law on drugs is reserved to Westminster

  1. I remember some years ago, seeing a documentary on addicts in, perhaps, Thailand. These unfortunates, mainly prostitutes (drugs were used to control them), underwent a physical regime with no drugs what so ever–up at dawn, a day of strenuous physical activity ahead. It cleared them of addiction, made them healthier, but when they went back to the city, their pimps put them back on the street, and back on drugs.
    That is the thing. If they want to get clean, it is not easy, no matter what DRossie and his media chums say. If they want to stay clean, it is even harder.
    In the ’80’s the Labour-run Strathclyde Regional council thought it a good wheeze to decant addicts from Glasgow to East Ayrshire, to get them away from their “dealers”. Trouble is, their dealers followed them down and found a whole new virgin market of naive kids, who were encouraged to think a wee hit or two would be just fine—then their lives were over.
    Cumnock, Auchinleck, New Cumnock–then Kilmarnock and Ayr– became a disaster zone for drugs, just as all the pits were closing.
    I knew kids who died in my village.
    I know parents who lost their children.
    I know a mother who lost both children, addicted at the same time, but dead 30 years apart (because addiction can often be for life).
    This was a Labour party policy, though you wont hear them boast of it, or get it referenced by the Unionist media who ONLY blame the SNP.

    I blame the dealers, and would lock them up for life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. £250Million (5 years). To provide proper, total abstinence, one chance, rehab.

    Prison £40,000 a year. Too many people in prison who should not be there. People will additional needs who do not get proper, help or support.

    Craig Murray etc. Totally appalling. Unjustified.


    1. ”£750m wasted on addicts ” – which ”addicts” ?

      Depends on the commodity :
      Alcohol ( provided by profit -making conglomerates ) GOOD !
      ‘Drugs’ provided by self-employed entrepreneurs ( not conglomerates ) BAD !

      Now , if only we could put the illegal drugs in the hands of the profit-making Conglomerates then I feel sure that Headlines like the Sunday Post’s would disappear overnight – problem solved !


  3. £750million wasted by not providing proper total abstinence, one chance rehabs. To get people well, The (unionist) Councils were given the funding under social care. Taken from the SNHS budget. They did not fund it but put people on methadone for years because it was ‘cheaper’. Spent the monies on other things. Not life or death. A false economy. For every person who gets well 10 people benefit. Less people die but go on the have happy creative, accomplished lives.

    Head of social work Dept drug addiction services. They do not support or fund total abstinence, one chance proper rehab because someone got the chance and did not get well straight away. People get well when they are ready using the information and advice given to them through proper rehab counselling facilities. So do their families and friends. Greater knowledge and awareness helps and saves people’s lives.

    Most people need proper professional advice and help to get well. All the advice out there is not always professional. People die because of it. Drug rooms are not the answer long term. It can keep people getting ill. A State provider of more use and abuse. People take methadone, prescribed and then take other substances. That is why more people die. Enough is never enough. On of the problems of addictions, without specialise help.

    Help is being put in now. £250Million (5 years). Proper specialist total abstinence help. People with an addictive nature need total abstinence advice. Otherwise it becomes a revolving door of drug/drink abuse. Repeat behaviour down the slippery slope again, Instead of being well and leading a relatively happy, long life. Plenty people do it without any problems. People should go and get help as soon as possible. Not too late. AA & NA. There to help others. Before rock bottom.

    Castle Craig, Peebles, is one of the most specialise addiction facilities in the world. World renowned. Other facilities can be adapted with advice that are not so costly on the SNHS. Or facilities that Drs can refer people with chronic addiction problems, The cost can be less by comparison. because of other enduring health problems. Liver failure, mental health problems and the medical affects on the human body. Many complications which lead to early death. Heart attacks and strokes. If people survive that long. Drug deaths 40’s. Alcohol 50s+. Young folk ar now taking cocaine and ketamine. How will that pan out in the future. Already creating health problems.


  4. MUP is saving lives. Consumption has dropped and deaths are lower. Lower Official allowance levels. Less people drinking and driving etc. The dangers more aware.
    Scotland started on a higher bench mark of alcohol and drug addiction. Higher consumption by comparison, (pro rata). than other countries.

    Leading back to Thatcher. Poorer health and deprivation because of Thatcher bad, poor policy decisions, especially in Scotland. Absolutely wicked. Kept secret under the Official Secrets Act by Lang and Forsyth, Totally corrupt. Still lording on public monies for their corruption and abuse. Trying to make excuses. Basically lying.

    The devastation of the Scottish economy by Thatcher and her henchmen was totally illegal. It was kept secret so they could get away with it. Scottish revenues and resources taken illegally and secretly to fund London S/E. Fund the bankers who fund the Tory Party. Banking fraud.

    MSM given over illegally and secretly to the right wing Press. Murdoch corruption controlling the Press. Without a balanced Press there is no Democracy. The UK Gov is supposed to ensure a Press balance but fails miserably. Propaganda controlled from Westminster. Tax evading non Doms following the right wing line. To line their pockets with tax evaded revenues. Screwing up the economy. Totally deplorable. All in it together screwing up the economy and the public. Making people’s live’s harder. For personal gain. Enough is never enough for them. There is no end to the greed.

    The banking fraud and deregulation, worldwide. To make Thatcher and her cronies multi millionaires, Paid for by corruption and public funds embezzlement. Tax havens. Tax evasion. Interest rates at 17%. Unemployment in Scotland 15%. High unemployment. 20% in NI. The Troubles caused by British Gov policies. More death and destruction. Costing £Billions. £12Billion +++. Totally unfair abc unequal. Injustice in the society. UK/EU Laws broken with impunity. Leading to grievance not addressed and violence. For unionist votes at Westminster.

    People on sickness benefit. (It was slightly higher payment). Poll tax etc. Starving miners. Violent social unrest and protest. After Labour ‘winter of discontent’. Rubbish piling up on the streets and bodies not being buried. Except in Westminster illegally under the Official Secrets Act.


  5. Yes there is a point, from the DC Thomson perspective. As far as I can see, the purpose of this piece is to suggest that the Scottish Govt ‘wasted £750 million’. All achieved by the simple and endlessly used trick of confusing readers about which government is responsible for drug policy and criminal procedures.


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