Poll: Is Nick Clegg right to call for the decriminalisation of all drugs?

The Lib Dem leader says attempts to criminalise drug use have failed


Nick Clegg will today say that the Liberal Democrats will bring forward plans to decriminalise drugs for personal use. In a joint press article with Virgin boss Sir Richard Branson, Clegg will say that attempts to criminalise drug use had proved an ‘abject failure’:

“The idea of eradicating drugs from the world by waging a war on those who use them is fundamentally flawed for one simple reason: it doesn’t reduce drug taking,” they write in the Guardian today.

However Mary Brett of the charity Skunk Sense told the Daily Mail that there was a ‘severe contradiction’ between the proposed policy and Clegg’s concern with mental health.

So what do you think: is Nick Clegg right to call for the decriminalisation of all drugs? Has the so-called ‘war on drugs’ been the abject failure it is increasingly made out to have been? Have your say in our weekly survey. Results will be published early next week.

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14 Responses to “Poll: Is Nick Clegg right to call for the decriminalisation of all drugs?”

  1. failquail

    In this Clegg is actually right for once.
    But someone like Clegg backing this just damages the cause of sensible drug reform, as Clegg has proven to be one of the most untrustworthy people in government (quite the achievement given the many contenders)

    Also: maybe you shouldn’t be tying up a poll vote to a mandatory email newsletter signup…

  2. damon

    We can’t have this in the UK because the country is far too reactionary.
    And most people would never understand the detail.
    I don’t even. What would it actually mean in practice? If it only meant that users weren’t harassed and prosecuted then fair enough. There would still be a lot of prosecutions though as most of the people in prison are said to have some drug issues. The crime they commit to get the money to buy the drugs etc.
    Which often involves selling drugs I think. Or living in a chaotic house where drugs are consumed and when the police raid the place there is more than the minimum amount on the premises.

  3. uglyfatbloke

    Skunk Sense is n’t really a charity, it’s a promotional organisation.

  4. Transformdrugs

    youve confused two things here – Clegg is calling for the end to criminalisation of possession of small quantities of drug for personal use and its replacement with civil sanctions (diversion to treatment or education as practiced in portugal and advocated by the ACMD). He is not calling for an end to prohibtiion as you poll question rather confusingly suggests. this would involve legalising and regulating drugs. at the moment the Lib dems advocate watching brief on the various experiments with cannabis regulation – they do not advocate it as such. Branson and the Global commission by contrast advocate both decrimianlisation and ending prohibition and regulating drug markets.

  5. Leon Wolfeson

    I don’t agree with decriminalisation, actually.

    Because Portugal’s Model of harm minimisation has been shown to work there.
    I’d simply use that.

  6. Guest

    And the excuses mount – you’re trying to say your views are “the country’s” again!

    You *refuse* to think about it, as you pound the same old lines about “chaos”, etc.

  7. Gary Scott

    Decriminalisation can only be successful as part of a greater policy on helping those with addiction problems. Instant access to addiction services is required. Carrot instead of stick and a recognition that, for some, support with drug replacement therapies will be required over the long term. Look towards harm reduction and end the stigmatisation that goes on in wider society, and also throughout the NHS. ALL drugs should be decriminalised but not legalised. Strong cannabis can cause mental health problems, it is NOT harmless. Too often opinions are formed with prejudices, not fact.

  8. uglyfatbloke

    OTH people with serious drug issues (heroin for example) commit crime to pay for their habit because Heroin is so massively expensive, which is totally a product of government policies for fifty years.

  9. BrS

    The modern strong cannabis is largely a myth, and the alleged danger is based on the myth that users all and always go for maximum. It’s like arguing against whiskey based on believing people always down a whole bottle of whatever alcohol source they have.

    All drugs should be legalised.

  10. BrS

    Skunk Sense are also a myth-perpetuating organisation. The name alone is enough to give it away, but reading their site confirms it. It says a lot that they find it necessary to use the tired old war on drugs scaremongering to make their case. They also have rubbish like making up excuses for not wanting to try some drug. Hell I’ve taught my children to be willing to say no to something they don’t want to do, and conversely yes, even if it might get them vilified. In other words do what they think is right.

  11. Ulysses Jefferson

    I might go along with Clogg if ALL MPs,Judges, Coppers,Drs, Nurses, Bank Managers, Civil Servants, HGV / Bus, Coach and Train Drivers and many other were subject to random on the spot testing and dismissal. He should be more concerned with the cultural problems that religion is gonna dump on the UK very soon.

  12. Craig

    Tying a poll to mandatory email giving is just going to result in a lot of fake email addresses being giving.

  13. Chris

    You mean…decriminalisation?

  14. Leon Wolfeson

    Nope. Do read up on the Portugese model!

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