One of Scotland’s leading drug campaigners has praised the move to classify people in possession of Class A drugs as “the biggest change in drug policy in the race” rather than face legal action.
Speaking to our sister’s The National, Peter Cricant said the policy would change lives. Scotland Getting people out of the vicious cycle of drug use and imprisonment.
Although officers may already issue warnings for possession of lower-grade drugs, Lord Advocate Dorothy Benn told MSPs on Wednesday that it would now include Class A drugs.
This is to deal with the drug-related death crisis in Scotland, which is the largest. Europe. In 2020 alone, there were 1,339 drug-related deaths in Scotland, a factor in the country. Life expectancy.
The drug dealer operated a mobile safe consumption room in Glasgow before being arrested by police, although the charges were later dropped.
Krikant, who started taking drugs at just 11 years old, said the current system of criminalizing addicts has failed to address the underlying issues.
Cricant told The National: “I was very emotional about this announcement. I had tears in my eyes because I think this is the biggest change in drug policy we’ve seen in a generation and It will have such a dramatic effect on people across the board.
“My experiences of going to prison at such a young age made things worse for me.
It’s hard to stop tonight after what seems like a breakthrough. # Safe use & # Provide safety In Scotland
Offering help instead of punishing those who use drugs is the key to reducing deaths, it feels like a historic moment.
– Peter Crykant (etePeteKrykant_OPC) September 23, 2021.
“And the problems are getting worse because you don’t need any social or psychological help in prison to actually get rid of this annoying substance.”
Cricant said judges would be happy with the change because they often see people in the judiciary who “don’t really need to be there”.
He continued: “It actually frees up treatment services because you will often find people who do not have a drug problem who go through the court system. And then the system shuts down.
“And it also keeps more space available for people who really need help and that ongoing intensive therapy. Some of the shocks with consumers are that they are inside and outside the criminal justice system.”
“I know the current system has changed a lot since I was 20 years ago – it’s not based on the type of punishment as it was 25-30 years ago.
“But it is still not a system designed to help people and guide them towards change. This trauma can only be created through the system of sending people to jail.”
Demands have been made to change the Drug Abuse Act. The 1971 legislation forms the basis of the UK’s anti-drug strategy, which divides drugs into different categories.
A strong group of 60 MPs expressed support for the Transform Drug Policy Foundation to review existing legislation.
Others have further decided to demand illegal and drug regulation. Cricant is one of those campaigners.
“This will be the next big step,” he said. But the idea has been thwarted by the British government, which is also fighting the Scottish government in safe consumption rooms because drugs are a safe matter.
“We need a fundamental change in the way we deal with drugs,” Cricant said. “Completely illegal or with regulation towards the market.
“People are still trapped in this system, because it is a police warning that, as the Lord Advocate mentioned in his statement, will remain on the police files for two years, I am sure.
“So if crime happens again, people will end up in this criminal justice system as well. But the number of people who will benefit from it will be far greater than the number of people who are still in this system because so many people who They have the opportunity to turn to anti-drug treatment services, they have the opportunity to go to the safe supply of drugs and move away from the illicit market, which is ultimately the way we need to break the chains of criminal supply. Is.
“The misuse of the Drugs Act and the efforts to enforce it are clearly not working. We see that every time there is a drug spill and the supply chain of a criminal group is disrupted, it is a turf. Creates war and this means that another criminal group comes in and they become stronger.
Overall, Cricant wants to see attitudes towards changes in drug policy in Scotland that are based on crime. Education.
“The other alternative is to just do what we do and watch people die.”
People who need help can find services and resources available in their area. https://www.scottishdrugservices.com.