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Why The Whole UK Needs Drug Consumption Rooms

One of the most vocal drug law reformers in Scotland in the last few months has been the MP for Inverclyde, Ronnie Cowan of the SNP. On Thursday 3rd November he’s co-hosting a timely event on drug law reform in his constituency of Inverclyde, which is just down the road from the proposed changes in Glasgow. Retired Police Inspector, former Chair of Strathclyde Police Federation and LEAP UK speaker, Jim Duffy, will be leading a panel who will give insight from an array of angles as to why change is needed. The call will be for tangible reforms, to save lives and to reduce crime. I am sure that the discussion will include the need for a devolved drug policy. Devolution allows for innovation, and it allows for those communities that most need reform to be pragmatic, to save lives and shape the future of crime ridden areas. It’s clear from my experience as an undercover drugs detective, and now as a drug law reform advocate, that there is much appetite for such a move, including from the most unlikely places. As that Westminster special advisor made clear, evidence from countries like Switzerland and Portugal may be hard to argue with, but changes close to home are what we really want to see. Canada has long championed drug consumption rooms; Insite Vancouver is drug consumption facility who has never lost a life – when compared to Scotland, who now have their highest deaths recorded, can we afford not to act?