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Officers in call to legalise use of drugs

The Scotsman, 15th April 2006

SCOTTISH police officers have sparked anger after calling for the legalisation of all drugs - including heroin and cocaine.

The Strathclyde Police Federation has called for a dramatic change of direction in the battle on drugs crime, and the issue will be debated later this month.

The body, which represents 7000 officers, is set to argue that all drugs should be licensed in the same way as cigarettes and alcohol. Officers claim this would cut drug deaths and divert police resources to other crime-fighting priorities. It is the first time that an organisation representing officers has made such a demand.

Opponents today said the move would only increase the availability of drugs. But the federation believes millions of pounds are wasted on enforcing existing laws, with little impact on the availability of drugs on the street.

Inspector Jim Duffy, chairman of the federation, said: "We are not winning the war against drugs and we need to think about different ways to tackle it."

The Scottish Executive said that drug legislation is reserved to Westminster.

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