The National Party in Scotland unanimously approved a measure that would decriminalize drug possession in the country in mid-October at the SNP Annual Conference 2019 in Aberdeen, Scotland.
According to STV News, members representing the Scottish National Party, currently the biggest party in the U.K. Parliament, said that removing drug penalties and treating addiction as a health crisis will help battle opiate addiction and other drug issues.
The amendment is currently known as the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, however it was deemed as “not fit for purpose in 21st Century Scotland” at the conference. The newly proposed amendment, would add in language “to allow for decriminalization of possession and consumption of controlled drugs so that health services are not prevented from giving treatment to those that need it.”
Scottish Parliament recognizes that law enforcement has more concerning matters to attend to. “Our law enforcement agencies are focused on the weak and vulnerable at the bottom of the pyramid, when they should be focused on the organized criminals at the top,” said Tommy Sheppard, one of the members of Parliament who introduced the measure.
“Decriminalization demystifies drugs and places them firmly in the health arena,” added Ronnie Cowan, another backer of the act. “Drug policy is about a mindset. Decriminalization changes the mindset, and by changing that, you can treat people as human beings, and we can start a recovery process.”
Many countries in Europe have been slow to accept legal cannabis, despite the fact that America and Canada have been moving forward in leaps and bounds. Starting with an acceptance of CBD for seizures, countries are now starting to fully legalize. This step to decriminalize drugs in Scotland would be another natural step in this forward progression towards acceptance and a changing attitude.