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Minister wants drug abuse to be treated as health issue

There is "no obvious relationship" between tough laws and levels of drug use, a government report has suggested.

The Liberal Democrat minister responsible for tackling drug use, Norman Baker, says the government should ditch what he calls the "inappropriate rhetoric of the 1950s" and focus more on treatment.

Mr Baker's views are at odds with the official Home Office position, which says the government has "no intention of decriminalising drugs".

The study looked at laws in 13 countries, including Portugal, where the law was changed in 2001 to make the possession of small amounts of drugs a health issue rather than a criminal issue.

  • 30 Oct 2014
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