UK drugs policy petition reaches 100,000 signatures, may prompt Parliamentary debate
Friday, February 14, 2014
Theof the is to discuss whether to schedule a debate on reform of 's drug laws, after a petition calling for an independent review of the laws reached 100,000 signatures this week. The petition was started by MP and calls for a cost-benefit analysis and impact assessment for the .
The petition was backed by the online campaigning organisationas well as by numerous celebrities and public figures including the comedian , businessman , rock performer , and broadcaster .
Lucas said Britain now spends3 billion annually on enforcing drugs policy and an assessment of "whether Britain's current approach is value for money or money wasted" is required. She also said: "The Misuse of Drugs Act is hopelessly out of date. It has never been reviewed, or undergone a cost-benefit analysis. In and alone, an estimated £3 billion a year is spent fighting the war on drugs, to little effect. Over half of the people in prison are thought to have serious drug problems, and yet we continue to fail to treat drug addiction as the serious health problem it is."
Russell Brand — who has spoken publicly of his use of drugs — said: "Almost 2,000 young people die in the UK each year from taking illegal drugs. But leading police, doctors, and politicians agree prohibition has completely failed to curb addiction."
Deputy Prime Ministerstated his support for the review in a newspaper editorial: "The UK can lead the debate in Europe and Europe can lead the debate in the world. But we must be prepared to start afresh with a new mindset and be prepared to do things differently."
- Padraic Flanagan. "Drug laws may be debated in Commons as petition passes 100,000 threshold" — , February 14, 2014
- Mary-Ann Russon. "Russell Brand Launches e-Petition with Avaaz to Change UK Drug Laws" — , February 12, 2014