‘Drug laws don’t work’ Experts call for radical rethink to tackle substance deaths

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Three academics believe Scotland must decriminalise drug possession to get the death rate under control.

Dr Iain McPhee, Dr Steve O’Rawe and Barry Sheridan, of West of Scotland University, have slammed the Scottish Government’s claims that an “ageing cohort” of users are behind the drug deaths explosion, which is likely to exceed 1000 this year for 
the first time.

The team have welcomed the setting up of a task force to examine new responses to drugs after a series of articles in the Daily Record demanded a new approach.

They are adamant the expert group should include voices that have never been heard before in the endless Government consultations.

And they hope the conversation moves towards devolving powers to police drugs into Scottish hands, so that progressive new measures can be put in place.

Here, they offer their services to health minister Joe FitzPatrick, who admitted Scotland faces a national emergency over drugs in an article in the Record earlier this month.

The academics claim that the constant reference to ageing drug users simply reaching the

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