Were it not for Norman Baker, the truth on the UK’s failing drug policy would never have been published. Conservatives tried to sweep it under the carpet, but thanks to Norman, the truth is out there.
For over 43 years, there had been no independent review of drug policy in the UK. Until 2014, when Norman Baker (former Liberal Democrat MP) forced the publication of this report. Clark French, medicinal cannabis patient for MS and Director for the United Patients Alliance, sat down with Norman Baker for an interview.
The report found that tough criminal sentences for drug users make no difference to the rates of drug use. The UK’s drug policy is failing it’s citizens and instead, the UK should look to countries like Portugal where drugs are treated as a health issue, not a criminal issue.
See also: UK Parliament debates cannabis
However, this wasn’t what the Conservatives wanted to hear. Theresa May (now Prime Minister, in 2014 home secretary) made no secret of the fact that she had no enthusiasm for the project, and when it was published in October, with Baker taking the lead in publicising it, Conservative ministers signaled that they would ignore it.
The published report initially contained no policy recommendations, but it was Baker who revealed the original draft did contain policy recommendations that, on May’s orders, had been removed prior to publication.
Baker would resign shortly after the report was published, saying he could no longer work with May.
But he’s hopeful for the future of drug policy in the UK. To learn why, take a look at the interview.
Link to report: gov.uk