MACASKILL HITS OUT AT SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT OVER FAILURE TO DEMAND POWER OVER DRUG POLICY AND DRUG CONSUMPTION ROOMS
Former Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill MP has hit out at the Scottish Government following confirmation from the Home Office, in a Parliamentary Written Answer to him, that neither the Justice Secretary or the Lord Advocate has sought a review of drug policy or Drug Consumption Rooms since the Scottish Election in May.
In a statement Kenny MacAskill said:
“The issue of drug deaths is rightly among the most important within government and with drug deaths likely to have increased hugely with the pandemic, urgent action has never been more required.
“Every death is someone’s son or daughter, mother or father. Whilst their lives may have been tragic, their loss is equally so and the pain for those remaining is the same as with every life lost.
“Yet whilst action is urgently needed and the Scottish Government have a renewed mandate, they are still to seek a review of drug policy and of Drug Consumption Rooms since the Election.
“Whilst it is the case that the Misuse of Drugs Act is reserved to Westminster, interpretation and implementation of it rests with the Scottish Government and the Lord Advocate.
“Surely, the Scottish Government should be pushing for the powers and seeking to find room to manoeuvre not simply lamenting the situation.
“There are still steps that they can take or actions that they can refuse to do which would help.
“Drug Reformers have called on steps to be taken by the Scottish Government including the creation of Drug Consumption Rooms where the law is arguable. Some suggest that its within devolved powers whilst others point out that not every law is enforced and discretion can be shown.
“But it requires courage to be shown by the
Scottish Government, a quality which has been sadly lacking hitherto. It is unacceptable and simply blaming Westminster when failing to either request the powers or take any steps within their own control is shameful.
“Why when families are suffering and communities are blighted are the Scottish Government sitting on their hands? This is not good enough and the families affected deserve so much better.”