In light of the Home Affairs Committee – Ninth Report titled: “Drugs: Breaking the Cycle,” Home Office minister, Jeremy Brown, explained that the government was “open to new ways of thinking”.
Brown continued: “We are open-minded; we think it’s a decent, thoughtful, balanced report. We will consider it carefully.”
Portugal does not usually prosecute people carrying small amounts of certain illegal substances.
Official statistics show that drug use in England and Wales is lower than it’s been since 1996.
“I don’t support decriminalisation,” explained David Cameron to the BBC, “we have a policy which is working in Britain, drug use is coming down.
“We need to continue with that to really make a difference.”
MPs have visited Portugal in an attempt to understand their methodology towards drugs and understand different systems.
It’s believed that managing the harm caused by drugs is an alternative solution than just penalising those for their usage.
“We were impressed by what we saw of the Portuguese depenalised system,” explained the MPs. “It had clearly reduced public concern about drug use in that country, and was supported by all political parties and the police.
“The current political debate in Portugal is about how treatment is funded… not about depenalisation itself.
“Although it is not certain that the Portuguese experience could be replicated in the UK, given societal differences, we believe this is a model that merits significantly closer consideration.”