MacAskill calls for devolution of drugs policy

Kenny MacAskill

Former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has said drug policy should be devolved to Holyrood so there can be a major rethink on the issue.

Mr MacAskill said that elsewhere in the world drug policy was increasingly being treated as a health and safety issue rather than solely as a matter of law enforcement.

In particular, he pointed to Portugal, some US states and Latin America.

However, the Scottish government has said it would not support legalisation whether it has the powers or not.

Mr MacAskill, writing in The Herald, said: “A different approach is now being explored not simply in some European nations like Portugal and in Latin America, but also in many states in the USA.

“The direction is for drugs policy to be no longer primarily a law enforcement issue but become predominately a health and social one.”

He added: “A commission of the great and the good in our society should be established to review what is one of the great socialills of our time.”

A Scottish government spokeswoman said: “The classification of drugs is currently reserved to Westminster however, even should we gain responsibility for the issue, we have no plans to support the legalisation or decriminalisation of drugs.”

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