Island ‘one step ahead’ of UK on drug misuse policy

GUERNSEY’S current review of substance misuse policy has shown that the island is, once again, ahead of the UK, according to the president of the Policy & Resources Committee.

Conservative leadership hopeful Michael Gove has said he 'deeply regrets' taking cocaine 'on several occasions'. (Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)
Conservative leadership hopeful Michael Gove has said he 'deeply regrets' taking cocaine 'on several occasions'. (Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)

Deputy Gavin St Pier’s comments followed a tweet from MP for Reigate Crispin Blunt on the issue of drugs policy in the UK.

Mr Blunt is co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group For Drug Policy Reform and after Conservative leadership candidate Michael Gove admitted using cocaine several years ago, he said that Mr Gove should have ‘used the opportunity to reflect honestly on the implications of a policy which has wholly failed to deter drug use, at an enormous human cost.’

Other UK MPs greeted Mr Gove’s admission with calls for him to withdraw from the Tory leadership race.

Deputy St Pier said that to him it seemed society was largely disinterested in politicians’ historic drugs offences – something that would not be the case for other offences such as sex crimes or crimes of dishonesty.

‘[This is] surely an indication that time is right for wholesale review of substance abuse policy inc. objectives?,’ wrote Deputy St Pier.

Health & Social Care president Heidi Soulsby pointed out that the committee was already undertaking a review of substance misuse policy: ‘UK should do likewise esp[ecially]

given the poorest are disproportionately targeted,’ she tweeted.

‘Thank you,’ responded Deputy St Pier. ‘I was rather hoping you might point out that, once again, Guernsey is one step ahead of our larger and younger cousin.’

Vale deputy Neil Inder added: ‘Prohibition didn’t work in US, never worked in UK, in Guernsey it’s only “worked” as we have water between us and the supply chain. I start there and await the review.’

HSC has agreed to draw up a combined strategy which will include drugs, alcohol and tobacco, as well as the clinical effectiveness of medicinal cannabis.

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