On Sunday, Scottish National Party delegates, in a unanimous vote, approved a resolution calling for the decriminalization of drug possession and consumption.
The lawmakers representing the Scottish National Party, which is the third-largest party in the UK Parliament, in a conference in Aberdeen, argued that the parliament should remove criminal charges from drug offenses, and addiction should be addressed as a public health problem so as to control the overdose crisis in Scotland.
The resolution is an amendment to the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act which states that we are in the 21st century and the current law is not apt; therefore, a provision should be added that permits removal of criminal penalties for possession and consumption of controlled medicine such as marijuana so that physicians can use it as treatment for those who need it.
The SNP Members of Parliament introduced the measure. These include Tommy Sheppard, Ronnie Cowan, and Alison Thewliss.
According to Sheppard, instead of the Scotland law enforcement agencies focusing on the organized criminals at the top, their primary focus is on the weak and vulnerable.
If the UK government does not pursue the proposed reform, then it should give the power to Scotland because they will take the necessary steps to approve the motion, added Sheppard.
Many people who have experienced trauma most often self-medicate, which eventually leads to addiction, notes Cowan.
Cowan said that decriminalization places drugs in a health area such as dispensary, thus demystifying the medicine. He further added that drug laws are all about one’s mindset, and once the drug is decriminalized, the mindset changes, and this allows you as a physician to treat people as human beings, and as a result, the recovery process is started.
Conferences held in the past by the Scottish National Party had seen the approval of proposed drug reforms, such as establishing safe consumption sites that would help people transition into treatment, thus, preventing overdoses, Common Space Reports. The UK Parliament has resisted such harm reduction policies, and this has frustrated reform advocates.
A Royal Commission whose work is to review the country’s drug laws if voted by the majority will be launched, announced the Labour Party last month.
Thewliss said that the UK government’s attitude toward Scotland’s drug emergency is inexcusable. He added that while the Tories at Westminster take no action, hundreds of people are dying on the street while the public is at risk of improper disposal of needles and increased transmission of blood-borne diseases.
Mhairi Hunter, the Glasgow Councillor, while at the conference, said that challenging the stigma around addiction is the same as challenging the laws criminalizing addiction.
In the U.S, lawmakers are still focused on reforming marijuana laws. According to a survey released earlier this month, about 55% of Americans support decriminalization of marijuana possession and consumption. In the course of their presidential campaign, candidate Pete Buttigieg and Tulsi Gabbard voiced their support for the policy.
Analysts think marijuana companies like Willow Biosciences Inc. (CSE: WLLW) and Youngevity International Inc. (NASDAQ: YGYI) would want the Scottish view to be adopted in more jurisdictions, especially by the U.S. federal government.
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