by Steve Beasant on 28 August, 2014
Liberal Democrat Crime Prevention Minister with responsibility for drugs policy in the government, Norman Baker, is supporting announcements that people charged with possession of drugs for personal use should not be sent to prison.
Under Lib Dem manifesto plans drug users whose only crime is possession for personal use will instead receive non-custodial sentences and appropriate medical treatment.
Locking up these people, including 500 for possession of cannabis, costs taxpayers up to £5million a year – money that should be spent on bringing drug dealers to justice.
Norman Baker says:
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“The first step is to recognise that drug use is primarily a health problem. Addicts need treatment, not prison sentences. If we are to be anti-drugs we need to be pro-reform and look at support mechanisms for addicts not locking them up behind closed doors and turning a blind eye.
“That’s why our manifesto will include a commitment that we will end the use of imprisonment for possession of drugs for personal use and move the drugs and alcohol lead from the Home Office to the Department of Health”