facebook twitter RSS
HOT TOPICS: Drug and Alcohol Treatment  Heroin

UK Party May Back Decriminalized Drugs

Britain's Liberal Democrats expected to rally around drug decriminalization.

Image: 

Lib Dem future? Photo via

By Will Godfrey

08/08/11

| Share

The Liberal Democrats, Britain's third-largest political party, are gearing up to debate the decriminalization of all drugs at their convention next month. And most observers believe that they are likely to back the proposal. If so, they would be the first major UK party to advocate looser drug laws, an idea that has been gaining popularity in the country. Part of the motion to be debated reads: "Individuals, especially young people, can be damaged both by the imposition of criminal records and by a drug habit. The priority for those addicted to all substances must be healthcare, education and rehabilitation, not punishment." The motion also cites the success of Dutch and Swiss heroin maintenance programs, and proposes the kind of decriminalization that seems to have benefited Portugal. The party's leadership stresses its willingness to be led by science on this issue—the previous Labour government famously fired its chief drugs adviser, Professor David Nutt, in 2009 after he criticized cannabis policy, saying that evidence about the effects of pot was being distorted for political reasons. The Lib Dems won 23% of the vote in the 2010 general election and are now the junior partner to the Conservative Party—staunch opponents of decriminalization—in an uneasy ruling coalition. They hope this move will win back younger supporters who were alienated by the party's surprising decision to join the Conservative-led government. "This is not a proposal from a lunatic fringe," said a party source. "It is a recognition of the general failure of drugs policies both in Britain and across the world."

Rehabilitation Directories

Most Popular
Sober Living
How I Forgave the Woman Who Helped My Son Die of an Overdose

She introduced him to the drug that eventually killed him. It took a long time, but eventually I had to treat her the way my son would have wanted.

The Rehab Review
Cliffside Malibu
 
 
 
 
 

The “beach-house-relaxed” Cliffside Malibu claims to provide an oasis for recovering addicts and alcoholics. And that’s just what you'll get—if you’ve got the cash.

Morningside Recovery
 
 
 

For a “rehab near the beach” experience that isn’t quite as costly as similar SoCal competitors, head to this Newport Beach treatment facility.

AToN Center
 
 
 
 

Whether you’re interested in the 12 Steps, SMART Recovery, or holistic treatments, this luxurious San Diego rehab has a program for you—if you can tear yourself away from “the most amazing massages ever."

The Ultimate Guide to Rehab
 
 
 
 
 

What you need to know when choosing an addiction treatment center.

the fix tv