Stirling Politicians Back Drug Law Reform


Categories: Health, Inequality, SNP Scottish Government, UK Government (Westminster)

Evelyn Tweed MSP and Alyn Smith MP

Alyn Smith MP and Evelyn Tweed MSP have expressed support for the all-party campaign to reform drugs law – including decriminalisation – and have renewed calls for immediate action on drug consumption rooms.

The Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) was designed to prevent drug use and reduce harm but since it came into effect there has been a dramatic rise in drug use, addiction and deaths in the UK.

The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform at Westminster met last week to discuss the issues and how to reform UK drug policy to address the current failings of the Act.

In March, SNP MP Tommy Sheppard published his Private Members’ Bill, which outlines the legislative details of a series of reforms including decriminalising possession of small amounts of restricted drugs for personal use and ensuring that overdose prevention facilities – also known as drug consumption rooms – can operate legally. It would also see excessive drug use treated as a health emergency instead of a criminal matter.

The Bill has cross-party backing and is supported by a range of organisations including Transform Drug Policy Foundation, Release, and the Scottish Drug Forum. The legislative changes in it are based on evidence gathered by the Scottish Affairs Select Committee in 2019 from those affected by drug use, academics, service providers and others with significant expertise in this area.

Alyn Smith MP said:

‘Drug law remains reserved to Westminster, so it’s right and proper the SNP Westminster group are leading the charge to have these outdated and ill laws reformed. The Misuse of Drugs Act is a relic from a bygone era, and it’s reform will be a crucial step in tackling the tragedies we continue to see across Scotland and the UK. This cross-party campaign has support across political ideologies and from wider civic society. I urge the UK Government to heed the call for change, and work to save lives.’

Evelyn Tweed MSP said:

‘The Scottish Government remains committed to swift action to tackle drug-related deaths. The SNP have committed £250 million over the next 5 years to boost local and national services, and increase support to those affected by drug addiction. This is a painful issue for the communities I represent, and I look forward to working with the range of stakeholders involved to improve outcomes here in Stirling and across Scotland.’


The text of the Bill can be found here: