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

Holidaymakers urged to consider community safety

Fri 3 Jul, 2020

Holidaymakers have been urged to consider the safety of the communities they are visiting, as lockdown restrictions are eased across Scotland.

Commenting after the First Minister urged Scots to take holidays within Scotland, Scottish Greens rural economy and tourism spokesperson John Finnie said: “Small businesses across Scotland will welcome holidaymakers, but at the same time communities remain understandably concerned about the potential arrival of COVID-19.

Scottish Greens respond to drug deaths figure delay

Mon 22 Jun, 2020

Responding to reports that the publication of Scotland’s drug death figures is to be delayed, Scottish Greens MSP John Finnie said: 

“It’s deeply troubling that the publication of the latest drug death statistics is to be delayed. It’s not good enough for the Crown Office to say it ‘appreciates the impacts of the delays.’ It must confirm exactly how long this backlog will take to clear. 

Greens call for update on seven year long rendition investigation

Mon 22 Jun, 2020

The Lord Advocate should come before parliament to provide an update on a now seven year long investigation into the possibility that Scottish airports were involved in rendition, Scottish Greens Justice Spokesperson John Finnie MSP has said. 

The former Lord Advocate Frank Mullholland instructed Police Scotland to enquire into claims that Scottish Government owned airports were complicit in the process of abduction and torture in June 2013.