Report: No link between tough laws and drug use

There is no 'obvious relationship' between tough drug laws and levels of drug use, according to a new report.

There is no ‘obvious relationship’ between tough drug laws and levels of drug use, according to a new report.

The report looked at how 13 countries approached drug use and compared them to the UK.

While the report found drug use was influenced by factors ‘more complex and nuanced than legislation and enforcement alone’, it also noted that there had been a ‘considerable’ improvement in the health of drug users in Portugal since the country decriminalised drug possession in 2001.

Liberal Democrat Home Office minister Norman Baker said the findings should put an end to the ‘mindless rhetoric’ on drugs with a new focus on treatment.

However the Home Office said the outcomes of the study could not be attributed to decriminalisation alone and the government had ‘absolutely no intention of decriminalising drugs’.

A debate on the UK’s drug laws will take place in parliament today, triggered by a petition by Caroline Lucas MP which got close to 135,000 signatures. Any petition that gets more than 100,000 signatures has to be debated by MPs.

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