Councillor and general election candidate says all drugs should be decriminalised

A Sheffield councillor and Rotherham general election candidate has called for all drugs to be decriminalised.

Monday, 25th November 2019, 3:30 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th November 2019, 3:03 pm
Coun Sophie Wilson

Coun Sophie Wilson, who is Labour’s Parliamentary candidate in Rother Valley, made her views known on Facebook earlier this year. She says she stands by her opinion and is not calling for drugs to be legalised.

She wrote on Facebook: “All drugs should be decriminalised but until then we need to move away from the zero tolerance approach of tackling drug use, get rid of failed tactics such as sniffer dogs and implement evidence-based policies such as freely available drug testing kits.

“More politicians and respected individuals coming out about drug use would also be helpful.”

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Speaking today, Coun Wilson said decriminalisation was a common sense approach. “I am not promoting drug use but we need to widen the debate about drug use as the current methods of tackling it aren’t working.

“To me, the evidence suggests that decriminalising drug use is the best way to get serious about tackling addiction. Drug misuse ruins lives and ignoring the problem doesn’t make it go away.

“A lot of research has found that once you decriminalise drugs it leads to fewer people using drugs and less overdoses but this is very different from legalising drugs.

“Rather than criminalising users, I want it to be treated as a mental health issue. Someone who uses heroin should not be a criminal, they should receive help.

“It’s about taking a sensible approach to drugs and using evidence. I would disagree that this is controversial.”

Coun Wilson says she supports the campaign group Transform and its views on drug policies.

The other candidates standing in Rother Valley are Allen Cowles (Brexit Party), Nigel Short (Ind), Alexander Stafford (Con), Colin Taylor (Lib Dem) and Emily West (Greens)