Fri, 14 Dec 2012
Liberal Democrat Leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has declared that it is time to rethink the UK’s approach to drugs policy.
Days after a report by MPs that called for a Royal Commission to look at UK drug laws, Nick admitted the UK is ‘losing the war on drugs on an industrial scale’ and called for the UK to look at examples from overseas of what works to tackle drug addiction and drug-related crime.
Speaking to The Sun newspaper, Nick Clegg said: “It’s time we told the truth.
“In politics, as in life, you can’t keep on doing something that doesn’t work. You can’t keep repeating the same mistakes.”
“If you were waging any other war where you have 2,000 fatalities a year, your enemies are making billions in profits, constantly throwing new weapons at you and targeting more young people — you’d have to say you are losing and it’s time to do something different.
“I’m anti-drugs — it’s for that reason I’m pro reform.”
“Politicians admit the war on drugs is not working.
“But when they’re in government, they say everything is fine.
“We’ve got to level with the British people and tell them what many people already know — it’s time to do something different.”
Nick also admitted that he disagrees with the Prime Minister on this issue.
He said: “I was disappointed that the Home Office ruled out an open-minded, level-headed look at all this before the ink had even dried on the committee report.
“I told the Prime Minister that this was a missed opportunity.
“He knows my views on this. He and I don’t agree on this.”
Nick has asked Liberal Democrat Home Office minister Jeremy Browne to review different approaches to tackling drug addiction and crime overseas, including those used in Portugal and the Netherlands.
He added: “Let’s look at what works elsewhere. I’m going to make sure we look properly at the evidence in this Parliament.”