Abuse of Drugs Act 2020

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Will Croft
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Abuse of Drugs Act 2020

Post by Will Croft »

Abuse of Drugs Act 2020

Key Provisions

Provisions on Treatment, Prevention, and Immediate Intervention
- Every police force throughout England and Wales will be provided with naloxone, paid for by the Government at no additional charge to the respective police forces. Police officers responding to calls relating to drug overdoses, and PCOS officers doing community walk throughs, will be required to carry naloxone on their person at all times. Officers responsible for carrying naloxone will undergo additional training in order to understand how to the use drug effectively.
- The National Institute for Health and Excellence's pilot program on Opiate Substitution Therapy will be fully funded and expanded across the whole of England, with medical professionals in hospitals and clinics being authorized to make once daily injections, or with pre-approved patients being able to receive a self-administered prescription after receiving authorization from a GP. Patients will only be permitted to participate in this scheme once approved to do so by a registered GP.
- A pharmacist led, Home Office administered scheme to authorize the use of drug checking sites will be piloted across England, with 25 pharmacies being licensed to operate drug checking sites throughout England. These sites will be evenly dispersed across England based on population and need. The sites will be administered by the pharmacies, and these pharmacies will be permitted to apply for a subsidy from the Government in order to purchase additional equipment and/or hire part time staff associated with operating the program. Data will be collected form these sites and sent on a monthly basis to Public Health England and the Home Office in order to inform Government policy on illicit drugs actively in use in the United Kingdom. Police officers will not be permitted to perform drug-related stop and searches outside drug checking sites.

Provisions on Diversion Programs
- Individuals found responsible for a first time offense of drug possession, without the intent to supply, will have the option to attend a mandatory drug education course rather than face prison time and a criminal record. Failure to complete this diversion program will result in resentencing.
- Every police force in England and Wales will have the power to give repeat offenders of drug possession, without the intent to supply, the option to attend a mandatory drug rehabilitation program rather than face prison time and a criminal record. Failure to complete this diversion program will result in resentencing.

Provisions on Sentencing Reform
- A mandatory minimum for individuals convicted of intention to supply a Class A drug will be imposed and set at 10 years. A mandatory minimum for individuals convicted of intention to supply a Class B or C drug will be imposed and set at 2 years.
- The maximum possible sentence for intention to supply a Class B or C drug will be raised to 20 years.
Mr. Speaker,

I beg this be read a second time.

(Note: A full speech will be posted tomorrow)
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Re: Abuse of Drugs Act 2020

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Second Reading
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Re: Abuse of Drugs Act 2020

Post by Michael Smythe »

(Am I allowed to debate this yet, or should I await an opening speech?)
The Rt. Hon. Michael J. Smythe
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Chancellor of the Exchequer

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Re: Abuse of Drugs Act 2020

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(If there is no speech by tomorrow then you can run with it)
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Re: Abuse of Drugs Act 2020

Post by Michael Smythe »

Mr. Speaker,

I rise today disappointed and concerned in the short-sightedness which has characterized this Government’s approach to drugs-related offences and, in particular, to the use of drugs in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. It has become fashionable, Mr. Speaker, among a certain chattering class of public influencers to support the wholescale decriminalization of drug use in this country. One’s mind turns immediately to the comedian and former user of brain-altering narcotics, Russell Brand, who has made it his life’s work to see the life-ruining substances which has caused him untold grief become readily available to the young people of this country. As the saying goes, Mr. Speaker, misery loves company. While I admit that the Government’s bill does not go so far as would make Mr. Brand and his ilk happy, I cannot pretend that this bill is not a first radical step down that radical road which will have radical consequences for our high streets, for our neighbourhoods, and for our families.

The bill itself, Mr. Speaker, is a quagmire of varying soft-ball “solutions” to the drugs pandemic which is overcoming major cities and threatening to expand into small towns right the way across the country. No fewer than four new programmes to be funded by the government -- but no word on what the outlay may be from the Government’s benches. Forgive me, Mr. Speaker, I am getting old and my mind sometimes forgets, but did we not just hear that the gilt rate is rising and the cost of borrowing is increasing significantly in the last months? Every pound we draw in the form of debt now costs more than it did last year; is it not time to prioritize the law-abiding citizens, many of whom are taxpayers, over those who flout our laws in order to engage in a recreational drug?

Beyond bringing additional costs to the future taxpayers of this country, at a sum untold, these programmes are going in the exact opposite direction to the one which we ought to be encouraging. A “free zone” for drug users outside of local pharmacies, where mothers go to get formula; where pensioners go to get their medicine; where parents take their children to get plasters and splints and whatever else children might need after injury? It is ludicrous but, moreover, it is dangerous. A June 2009 study conducted by the World Health Organization confirms what any reasonable knows: that the use of drugs, especially opioids, is inextricably linked to interpersonal violence and erratic behaviour. These users are more likely to engage in violence towards children, maltreatment of children, elder abuse, and sexual misconduct than the average person and these are precisely the people the Government intends to give statutory immunity to in various pockets of our neighbourhoods and communities. There will be blood, Mr. Speaker, and it will be on the hands of the Prime Minister.

The bill is not entirely bad, Mr. Speaker, and there is a shining star within it. This Government, on the advice of many expert analyses and the pleading of many a parent whose child has chosen the path of drug use, has seen fit to increase the severity of penalties against those who intend to supply drugs. Though the drug user must claim responsibility for his or her decision to take drugs, the supplier is equally responsible for the catastrophe which has beset our society. If I were to get what I want, then these, almost invariably, men would not see the light of day ever again. Still, I am heartened and welcome the Government’s intention to penalize drug dealers with a firm hand. I look forward to the day when they wake up and choose to do the same for those who use drugs.
The Rt. Hon. Michael J. Smythe
Member of Parliament for Chelsea and Fulham
Chancellor of the Exchequer

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Re: Abuse of Drugs Act 2020

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Legislation abandoned by Government
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