Clegg calls for rethink of UK drug laws
Nick Clegg believes Britain’s drug policies are failing and has echoed calls for a royal commission to consider a legislative rethink despite direct opposition from David Cameron.
The deputy prime minister says he is not backing a full legislation of drugs, but thinks that decriminalising possession and targeting dealers and traffickers may be the way forward.
In an interview with The Sun newspaper on Friday, Mr Clegg stated: “If you were waging any other war where you have 2,000 fatalities a year, your enemies are making billions in profits, constantly throwing new weapons at you and targeting more young people, you’d have to say you are losing and it’s time to do something different. I’m anti-drugs, it’s for that reason I’m pro-reform.”
His calls for a new approach have been firmly rejected by David Cameron, who insists that action has already been taken by the coalition, and there is evidence suggesting that abuse levels have dropped accordingly. However, the prime minister told a press conference in Brussels that Mr Clegg was “entirely entitled to take a view for the next election and beyond for his manifesto”.
Labour leader Ed Milliband has expressed opposition to decriminalisation but has said that the party would wait until a report is published before reaching any conclusions.
Mr Clegg has requested a report from Home Office minister Jeremy Browne on liberal approaches to drugs across the world which have been successful, and has stated that his commitment to this issue will been seen in his party’s 2015 manifesto.
Lucy Cait Jordan