The Liberal Democrats have criticised the Government's launch of a new Drugs Strategy, saying it will do nothing to reduce dependency.
Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat Shadow Health Secretary, said:
“The Drugs Strategy won’t work. It totally fails to address a key problem, treating drug dependence as a criminal justice issue rather than a health one. It should have been announced by the Health Secretary, not the Home Secretary.
“The war on drugs has been a catastrophic failure, costing millions, making criminals of young people and unleashing gang violence.
“Liberal Democrats would decriminalise drugs use while legalising and regulating cannabis, which would encourage users to seek help.
"And while we welcome steps to increase access to treatment for anyone dependent on drugs, we need to know what that amounts to in terms of hard cash and availability of treatment.”
Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat Shadow Home Secretary, said:
“The Conservatives have slashed funding for drug rehabilitation in prison, and have wasted fortunes on persecuting people for minor drug offences rather than spending the money where it would make a difference, on rehabilitation.
“It is optimistic of the government to say that it will rely on greater international co-operation when it is withdrawing co-operation from our friends in Europe, including in all likelihood the European Arrest Warrant.”