Tue 16 Jul, 2019

John Finnie MSP

Highlands and Islands
Justice, Transport & Tourism, Rural & Island Communities

Website

It is shocking to see Scotland with the one of the worst drug death rates in the world.

From tackling heroin and the AIDS threat in the 1990s to minimum unit pricing on alcohol, Scotland has a track record in harm reduction, which prioritises the health and safety of our people over moral judgement.

It's needed now more than ever.

We have seen London take an interest in Scotland’s approach to knife crime. Hopefully now the UK Government will take notice of progressive thinking on drugs policy, but I have my doubts.

Drug harm is a national emergency. Sadly, the UK Government, who continue to hold all the legislative strings, appear to have little interest in Scotland’s public health crisis. Currently they are obsessed with Brexit and who will be the next prime minister.

What could Scotland do as an independent country though?

When it comes to drugs, criminalisation has caused more harm than it can claim to have prevented. The ‘war on drugs’ approach has self-evidently failed.

Addiction is better tackled by trained medical professionals, not with the strong arm of the law, and dangerous substances need to be taken out of the hands of gangsters.

Drug deaths in Scotland are now around three times that of the UK as a whole. Sadly, the stigma surrounding drug use as a criminal activity means there is not enough public outcry at these deaths.

I am proud that the Greens don’t care about looking tough. We must look at the evidence and save people’s lives, preventing harm and tackling addiction.

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More like this

Urgent action required to tackle drugs emergency say Greens

Tue 16 Jul, 2019

Both the Scottish and UK Governments must take urgent action to tackle Scotland’s drugs death emergency following new figures [1], which revealed there were 1,187 drug deaths in 2018 according to Scottish Greens MSP John Finnie. 

The figures represent a 27% increase of the 2017, which were themselves record setting, and mean Scotland continues to have the highest rate of drugs deaths in Europe.

John Finnie MSP said:

Finnie hails better buses win

Wed 12 Jun, 2019

The Scottish Parliament has voted to allow local councils to run their own bus services, a move that will transform public transport provision across the country according to the Scottish Greens Transport Spokesperson John Finnie MSP. 

Local authorities had previously been forbidden from running most routes thanks to Thatcher era legislation. 

John Finnie MSP said:

Greens slam government for backing arms companies

Wed 5 Jun, 2019

Scottish Greens Rural Communities Spokesperson John Finnie MSP has slammed the Scottish Government after it failed to back proposals to prohibit the new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency from funding munitions.

The SNP, Tories, Labour and the Lib Dems today voted against a Green amendment to prohibit the new agency investing in munitions.

Green MSPs have repeatedly raised concerns about Scotland’s enterprise agencies funding the arms industry, with grants to operators such as multinational Raytheon, who supply weapons used by Saudi Arabia on its war in Yemen.