Liberal Democrat, Lord Brian Paddick, recently concocted a bill in the House of Lords calling for decriminalizing all drugs in the UK. His argument was that throwing people involved with drugs in jail was not working, but was actually causing drug use to increase.
Paddick, a former cop, told his fellow legislators that the key to beating the drug problem was “education not criminalisation.” But one of his conservative peers confronted Paddick with the flaws of his argument in the midst of a debate over the bill. Lord Blencathra pointed to a study done by an EU subcommittee that revealed enforcing the laws on illegal drugs caused a dramatic drop in the use of even the hardest drugs like cocaine and heroin.
Paddick’s amendment to one drug law was soundly defeated. He tabled other amendments calling “to decriminalise the possession of all drugs for personal use, legalise medical cannabis and delay moves to ban legal highs,” to be debated at a later date. When Paddick was a senior police officer several years ago, he began a program in his district that ordered officers not to arrest offenders for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Not long afterwards the community pushed back against his policies with the backing of a study that proved his policy directly led to a stark rise in addicts who used harder drugs.
Source: Push for weaker drugs laws slammed in the Lords, The Christian Institute, June 24, 2015.