(extracts from parliamentary transcript)
To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to establishing a royal commission on the law governing drug use and possession.
First, as I have said in the House before, I believe strongly that we should have evidence-based policy
. I am often appalled at how much legislation is brought forward more on the basis of hope than of evidence. Secondly, I recognise that the best way to affect attitudes and behaviour is through education-I do not just mean formal education-and persuasion. The law alone cannot achieve change, and indeed it can be dangerous to rest on the law in place of education. As a Conservative, I do not believe that the purpose of the law is to send signals.
We need a structured means for weighing evidence, not proceeding on the basis of prejudice, with people simply speaking past one another. I would not be averse to a broad-ranging inquiry; drug use, as the Government recognise, can encompass alcohol consumption. There is a case for a holistic examination.- Lord Norton of Louth
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I agree with him that policy should be evidence-based, as existing drugs policy is an expensive failure and based on ignorance and prejudice. All evidence points to drugs being a health issue. Only bad policy has turned it into a criminal justice issue, a public safety issue and an economic issue. - Baroness Walmsley
We should not be afraid of ignorant, misleading and downright evil tabloid headlines. - Baroness Walmsley
I am not making the case for change. I am making the case for a proper, thorough and detached review of the evidence. - Baroness Walmsley
He and all other noble Lords who have spoken are right to point out that the current legal framework controlling drug abuse has been remarkably ineffective and very expensive. Recently, there has been a slight reduction in drug use by young people, but there has been a parallel increase in binge-drinking, with an alarming increase in death from liver disease. Lord Rea
Looks like the UK needs a dose of Class D.
Labels: drug policy, Evidence-based policy, House of Lords, Joan Walmsley Baroness Walmsley, Philip Norton Baron Norton of Louth