Scottish Greens Justice spokesperson John Finnie MSP this afternoon (28/11/2017) responded to a ministerial statement calling for a radical overhaul of Scotland’s drugs strategy.
Minister for Public Health Aileen Campbell used the statement to highlight that the Scottish Government will refresh their drug and alcohol strategy in the spring.
Responding for the Greens, Finnie, who is also the Co-Convenor of the Scottish Parliament’s Cross Party Group on Drug and Alcohol Misuse, pointed to the unacceptable level of drug related deaths.
Mr Finnie highlighted figures from the Scottish Drugs Forum, outlined in a parliamentary motion last week (1), of an outbreak of HIV in Glasgow with 105 cases identified as of October, with a number of these cases having hepatitis C co-infection – an issue across Scotland. He also referred to the closure of the busiest sterile injection equipment supply facility in Scotland, at Glasgow’s Central Station, has led to a significant reduction in the number of clients accessing such equipment.
Speaking after the statement John said:
“Clearly this is a health rather than a justice matter. The Scottish Government must accept that rather than a refresh of something which is obviously failing, a radical overhaul - including looking at decriminalisation – is required if we are to seriously address this issue.”