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Green MSP Ariane Burgess welcomes new drugs guidance


By Jonathan Clark

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SCOTTISH Greens Highlands and Islands MSP Ariane Burgess has welcomed new guidance which means police can issue recorded warnings for possession of Class A drugs instead of automatically leading to arrest.

In a statement to parliament, Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain QC said that recorded police warning guidelines would be updated to apply to all drugs.

There were 10 drug deaths in Moray in 2020 and Ariane Burgess MSP said a move away from criminalising drug use could play an important role in reducing that number in the years ahead.

She said: “There were a record 1339 drug-related deaths recorded in 2020, including 10 in Moray. It’s clear that the war on drugs has failed and that this change of approach is needed.

Scottish Parliamentary Elections 2021..Ariane Burgess, Scottish Green Party..Picture: James Mackenzie..
Scottish Parliamentary Elections 2021..Ariane Burgess, Scottish Green Party..Picture: James Mackenzie..

“Given Scotland’s worryingly high drug deaths rate, it’s important that we move to a harm reduction approach, rather than a continued focus on criminalisation, and this move by the Lord Advocate is an important step given the limited powers Scotland has to address the issue.

“Despite the fact much drug policy is reserved to Westminster, I hope we can go further and find ways to make safe consumption spaces possible, ensuring that trained healthcare staff are available to support drug users.

"This could be another important step in tackling Scotland’s worryingly high drug death rates.”


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