Green party

London's Deputy Mayor calls for free heroin on NHS

10 November 2003

Heroin should be available free on the NHS, according to Jenny Jones,Green Deputy Mayor of London. This would break the cycle of drug addiction andthe crimes that are committed to fund it, she said.

"Heroin addiction is the cause of many of our crime problems, because addicts commit crimes to feed their habit. Treating them as patients and giving them free clean heroin means we can remove their need to fund their addiction and thereby cut crime radically", explained Jenny.

"A Green approach to drug addiction could cut crime by two-thirds without needing a single extra bobby on the beat", said Jenny.

"Labour has totally failed to be tough on the causes of crime, which are mainly drug-related. It's hardly surprising that some of Labour's own MPs are closer to the Greens' views than those of their own party. Labour's crime policies simply aren't working", declared Shane Collins, the Green Party's drugs spokesperson.

The Cleveland Police Report 1999 concluded: "Attempts to restrict availability of drugs have failed, so far everywhere. If prohibition does not work then an alternative approach must be found. The most obvious alternative approach is the legalisation and subsequent regulation of some or all drugs."

The Green Party current policies on drugs are:
· Re-legalise cannabis without further delay
· Dutch 'coffee shops' or 'pot pubs' system to be permitted and regulated. Allow people to grow their own cannabis
· Decriminalise recreational drugs such as speed and ecstasy
· No advertising or sponsorship for any drug (alcohol, tobacco cannabis or any other)
· Treat heroin addiction as a health issue and not a crime problem
· Promote maintenance treatment
· Ensure immediate research funding into Ibogaine and its abilityto interrupt opiate addiction without withdrawal effects
· Repeal Public Entertainment (Drugs Misuse) Act (the Barry LeggAct) which has held back harm reduction in clubs
· In the medium term we aim to take the drug trade out of criminal control and made it available in a legal environment. A Royal Drug Commission could decide the details of how this system will be regulatedand licensed.