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‘Wales powers would crackdown on drugs’

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 13, 2012

Leanne Wood

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PLAID Cymru has renewed calls for Wales to have complete jurisdiction over the criminal justice system.

Party leader Leanne Wood, who used to be a probation officer, said it would help the crackdown on drugs.

Her call follows the publication of a House of Commons Select Committee report on breaking the cycle of drug addiction.

The report by the Home Affairs Select Committee recommended greater links between the Home Office and the Department of Health in dealing with addictions and illegal substances. Plaid Cymru argue that this must mean a role for the Welsh Government and the introduction of a more effective and evidence based approach to drug policies, providing support and treatment for users and targeting policing resources at the top-level dealers and those who control the illegal drug supply.

The full devolution of criminal justice to Wales would allow us to adopt a, progressive, Welsh approach to the drugs issue — an approach that would achieve better results, a party spokeswoman said.

“This report from the Home Affairs Select Committee recommends that the Home Office work with the Department of Health, recognising that addictive substances are just as much a matter for health and society in general as much as for law and order enforcement agencies,” Ms Wood said.

“In Wales this means a role for the Welsh Government.

“It would make sense for there to be a more progressive, evidence-based approach taken in other social issues in Wales to be adopted on this as well.

“I worked as a probation officer before my election to the National Assembly for Wales. I drew on that experience in the publication of a detailed paper aimed at making our communities safer.

“I argued for an alternative approach — saying that we need a long-term multi-agency strategy which treats problematic drug users as patients rather than criminals.

“I also argued for strategies that focus on harm reduction for individuals, families and communities, including for victims of crime.

“Health resources need to be focused on people while law and order resources should concentrate on stopping and catching those who profit from other people’s misery.”

The leader also gave her backing to the establishment of a commission into drugs.

She said: “A commission on drugs, with a wide remit to look at the effects that they have on society, is well overdue.”

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  • gorseboy  |  December 17 2012, 5:44PM

    gengis Glad to see you got my name right this time,I have a red line under yours as Genghis is the correct spelling. Now to some Facts on drugs: Valium or to give it the correct name Diazepam is a member of the Benzodiazepine family used in the treatment of Epilepsy,Anxiolytic conditions. Opiates or more correctly Opioids are mainly Narcotic Analgesics and without supervision can be highly addictive,I once came across a person addicted to Kaolin and Morphine a remedy for stomach upset,another was "hooked" on the cough remedy Benylin. The other so called non addictive substances are the route taken by many now hard drug addicts,the "high" created leads them to seek an even better (if that is the right word) high and seek out the more addictive substances.

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  • gengis  |  December 15 2012, 6:38PM

    gorseboy...,"The enjoyment of an alcoholic drink does not always lead to addiction whereas ingestion of the aforementioned drugs does" No it does not. Sure, a few drugs are physically addictive (cocaine, opiates, valium etc) but certainly not all drugs ( for example LSD, mdma, thc, amphetamine, 4mmc, ketamine, "magic mushooms"...) and of course,one of the most physically addictive and potentially dangerous drugs of all is nicotine There is absolutely NO difference between someone enjoying a quiet pint and someone else relaxing with a nice pipe of cannabis (apart from the legality of course) As previously mentioned below -"Some people need to learn FACTS about drugs....then perhaps their comments might be more credible """

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  • gorseboy  |  December 15 2012, 5:51PM

    Greta.etc Oxford English definitions Drug: A medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced to the body. Alcohol:A colourless volatile inflammable liquid which is the intoxicating constituent of wine, beer,spirit or other drinks. In the context of the article no mention is made of alcoholism as an addiction,it speaks of illegal substances,coke,heroin,cannabis etc. The enjoyment of an alcoholic drink does not always lead to addiction whereas ingestion of the aforementioned drugs does.

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  • gengis  |  December 14 2012, 9:06PM

    gooseboy said, "Alcohol can be an addictive substance but it is not a drug." Following GretaCarbo's link (here: http://tinyurl.com/5ul7h89), can I suggest you get yourself further EDUCATED about drugs and their effects. Talk-to-Frank is a good place to start as anywhere (http://tinyurl.com/7hgg8yh). I think neathboy should take a peek as well as his knowledge of cannabis is kinda mixed up and confused (there's some excellent PDF's there) As Dr Konker said, "Some people (including a few naive commentators on here) need to learn FACTS about drugs....". Quite right, then perhaps their comments might be more credible "

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  • Neathboy234  |  December 14 2012, 5:43PM

    gorseboy just make your way to any town center across the UK and look at the drunks sleeping in doorways all night, and then tell me it's not a drug.

  • GretaCarbo  |  December 14 2012, 5:19PM

    gorseboy Please forward proof that alcohol is not a drug to 'The Lancet', the world's leading general medical journal. Link to CNN article: http://tinyurl.com/5ul7h89

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  • Neathboy234  |  December 14 2012, 5:19PM

    They use yo say when there is no hope, smoke dope. Perhaps the answer is to increase the amount of hope and thus have a reduction in dope!

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  • gorseboy  |  December 14 2012, 5:01PM

    Dr_CONKER Perhaps a change in spelling of your soubriquet,insert Pl instead of C. A drug is described as a medical substance for use on it's own or as an ingredient.Alcohol can be an addictive substance but it is not a drug.The drugs mentioned here refer to Class A,B,C illegal substances which most certainly are addictive,no matter what opinion is muted on certain materials such as Cannabis. The demand for these substances can be a number of factors,all of which have to be addressed together not piecemeal like now. Addicts of whatever need Help not condemnation,for there but for the HELP given me go I.

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  • Neathboy234  |  December 14 2012, 4:48PM

    geoboy01 who do u vote for then!!!!!!!!!!. You have got us all wondering now. lol lol lol

  • Dr_Conker  |  December 14 2012, 4:22PM

    Alcohol is a drug. It is used by many thousands of people for enjoyment and recreation. Some people cant handle it and they get help. Its the same with drugs. As long as no one is hurt let people enjoy them for what they are. If they dont agree with you, tough, no one is forcing you to do them so please dont force your self righteous attitudes down other peoples necks. For once Nick Clegg has gone against his master and has called for a royal commission to consider decriminalising illegal drugs. Some people (including a few naive commentators on here) need to learn FACTS about drugs, users need to be educated. Governments war on drugs will never, ever be won so they (and us) need other ways of addressing how they are used - and abused

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