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Poverty campaigner calls for radical drugs reform

This news post is almost 6 years old

Drug deaths caused by lack of quality control says campaigner

An anti-poverty campaigner who recently won the Orwell prize for his first book has called for the legalisation of drugs following a surge in drug deaths.

The rapper and campaigner Darren McGarvey, who goes by the name Loki, says the lack of quality control when it comes to hard drugs is leading to needless deaths.

A TFN story last week revealed Scotland had the highest number of drug deaths in Europe.

Figures show that 934 people died in Scotland last year as a result of drug overdoses, more than twice the number a decade ago.

The Poverty Safari writer told Sunday Times Scotland: “There are so many experts in this field who say prohibition is a dead end. I do think we need to look again at the drug laws in this country. I’m not saying we legalise heroin, but maybe begin with cannabis.”

“So start with something like cannabis. Is it worth imprisoning people for possessing this drug or imprisoning people for growing it — people who have a real passion for cultivating it? But then you have bad actors who are cutting it with super-strength cannabis that leads to psychosis.

“If you had a regulatory system in place that ensured these things had a universal standard, then you would raise a lot of revenue from tax and clear out the prison population of those people who are in there for minor sentences.”

Decriminalisation of drugs is a matter reserved for Westminster and is currently not supported by the UK government.