The following motion was selected by Newbury Constituency Labour party at our All Members Meeting, August 19th 2019. This composite motion will be submitted to Labour’s Annual confence 2019.
Labour Party Drug Policy: Time for an Evidence-Based approach
Submitted by Michael Wakelyn-Green, Newbury CLP
The Labour Campaign for Drug Policy Reform recently launched, and is encouraging grassroots Labour members to have a voice on how we approach this complex policy issue.
The campaign is advancing an evidence-based approach to future Labour drug policy, emphasising the need for a fundamental shift from treating personal drug use/ problematic use as a crime, to treating it as a public health issue.
Our current drug laws are 48 year-old, and aren’t fit for purpose in 2019. The “War on Drugs” is a war on people, our communities, our families and our friends; it comes with huge human and financial costs. These costs disproportionately affect poorer communities, which Labour has traditionally fought for.
Our current laws do not protect our society. They exacerbate societal issues surrounding: problematic drug use, crime, homelessness, public health, policing and prisons.
The monopolisation of the £5.3Bn illegal drug market by organised criminals, is also a prevalent issue. Our communities are contaminated with violent criminal gangs, whom commit knife crime and shootings, to protect their business.
Reform desperately needs to occur. The Labour party needs to be at the forefront of this policy shift – currently it is not. Our policy must change.
- A wider discussion within the Labour party about Drug Policy reform, and supports putting Harm Reduction and Public Health approaches, at the core of Labours future policy.
- An evidence-based discussion surrounding UK Cannabis Policy, and to explore policies of Decriminalisation and Legalisation.
Word Count : 241(not including the above title)
- Source for £5.3Billion figure for value of Drug Market. Home office figure, reported on the BBC:Reality Check Team. (April 6, 2018). BBC News UK. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-43657647