A radical rethink of UK drugs policy is outlined by senior backbencher John Mann MP in ‘The Real Deal‘. Using evidence from work done in his Bassetlaw constitency, he argues for a new approach to drugs classification, and for compulsory drugs treatment for addicts involved in crime
In this Fabian Policy Report, Mann argues that ‘coercion should be recognised as not only legitimate but necessary to get users off chronically addictive drugs such as heroin’ and says that concerns about civil liberties are misplaced because ‘free choice’ is meaningless for serious addicts.
The report’s recommendations seek to address the links between drug addiction and crime, based on work done in John Mann’s Bassetlaw constituency where the decision to treat drug use as a medical problem massively reduced drug-related crime.
The statistics are clear: medical treatment of identified drug addicts through primary care works.
- In July 2002 there were two addicts in Bassetlaw receiving prescriptions for heroin abuse, and there were 80 burglaries a month.
- By July 2006, 400 addicts were receiving treatment, and just 20 burglaries a month were being reported, a fall of 75 per cent.
The report sets out a series of recommendations for national drugs policy.