Comment - Policy Miscellany
Green MP does drugs in Parliament - minister baffled - Caroline Lucas speaks
On 19th July Caroline Lucas raised the vexed question of drugs policy in the Commons
(HC Deb, 19 July 2011, c883).
She urged the government to base its drugs policy on evidence and cited evidence from Portugal, Switzerland and
Scandinavia showing that decriminalising personal use would have many benefits.
Responding for the government Jeremy Wright claimed that decriminalisation would send a
"very clear message ... that society no longer disapproves of [illegal drugs]" and implied that this
would increase their harm. This is NOT what the evidence shows. Once again we have to wonder whether a
minister is too ignorant to understand the evidence or simply frightened by the likely tabloid reaction to
a policy change.
Since illegal drug use produces medical problems she also asked that responsibility be moved from the
Home Office to the Department of Health. Wright wasn't interested in that idea either.
But Westminster is not the whole of government. In September Caroline will host "a round table in
Brighton ... to discuss how we might move forward as a city". With a Green MP and a Green Council we
may finally see some sensible action - and perhaps a pattern that other councils can follow.
For more detail see
here is a 2012 update. .
First published in the EGP members newsletter, August 2011
Published and promoted
by Bill Linton for Enfield Green Party, both at 39A Fox Lane, London N13