Crime chief’s drugs policy call after ministers’ admissions

A police and crime commissioner has said the admissions by Tory leadership hopefuls’ on their past use of drugs shows the issue should be put under a fresh review.

Ron Hogg, police, crime and victims’ commissioner for County Durham and Darlington, has called for a review of drug policy after more Government Ministers admit to having taken drugs.

He says the current exposure of drug-taking by senior national politicians highlights the need for a national debate on drug policy reform.

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It comes after Michael Gove admitted taking cocaine, while Andrea Leadsom, Boris Johnson and Dominic Raab admitted taking cannabis while Jeremy Hunt revealed he consumed a cannabis lassi while backpacking in India.

Their revealations followed on from Rory Stewart’s admission he had smoked opium at a wedding in Iran 15 years ago.

Mr Hogg said: “Government policy is allowing powerful, faceless drug dealers to control the supply of drugs, using threatening and harmful behaviour.

“This is likely to continue unless we take the power out of the hands of the dealers.”

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“What’s needed is a health-focussed approach, so drug users feel able to speak to their GP, rather than fearing that they will be reported for criminal behaviour.

“That would remove control by the dealers and enable sensible regulation of the drugs market by the state.

“Ministers expressing regret about taking drugs in the past should recognise the hypocrisy of their position when they argue that drugs policy is working.”