UK & World News
Drugs Laws: Clegg Calls For UK Policy Reform
Nick Clegg has called for a complete overhaul of drugs laws and given his backing to a royal commission on alternative strategies - an idea rejected by the Prime Minister just days ago.
The Deputy Prime Minister said David Cameron needed to show courage over the debate on drugs, after the PM ruled out a review into the Government's approach, including the creation of a royal commission on UK drug policy, earlier this week.
In an interview with The Sun newspaper, Mr Clegg warned Britain is losing the war on drugs on an industrial scale.
The Liberal Democrat leader said: "If you were waging any other war where you have 2,000 fatalities a year, your enemies are making billions in profit, constantly throwing new weapons at you and targeting more young people, you'd have to say you are losing and it's time to do something different.
"I'm anti-drugs - it's for that reason I'm pro-reform."
He insisted he is not in favour of full legalisation of drugs but thinks targeting dealers and traffickers, while decriminalising possession, might be a solution.
The Commons Home Affairs Committee found the Government's drugs policies to be failing in a report published on Monday, and recommended a royal commission to look at alternatives - including decriminalisation and legalisation.
The Prime Minister rejected the idea on the grounds that the UK's current approach to drugs was working.
Mr Clegg told The Sun he will include a "clear commitment" to a royal commission on drugs in his party's 2015 manifesto.
He added: "I told the Prime Minister that this was a missed opportunity. He knows my views on this. He and I don't agree on this."
The Lib Dem leader said he has ordered Home Office minister Jeremy Browne to compile a report on liberal approaches to drugs across the world that have worked, including in Portugal, Amsterdam, Latin America and several US states.