YOUR AM WRITES: South Wales East AM, William Graham
4:17pm Thursday 3rd October 2013 in News
DECRIMINALISING Class A drugs - I am not convinced that decriminalising Class A drugs is a panacea for tackling society’s drug problem; but I am prepared to give time to consider all the evidence.
Recently, Mike Barton (Chief Constable of Durham) proposed that the best way to wrestle power away from criminal gangs and regain the initiative in the war of drugs was decriminalisation.
He suggests that if the NHS should supply class A drugs to addicts, it would stop them having to go out and commit crime in order to buy illegal narcotics. He emphasises that access to drugs should be controlled and not be freely available.
I was pleased that the musician Lemmy (Motorhead) accepted my invitation to come to the National Assembly to talk about the dangers of substance abuse; notably heroin.
Lemmy also proposed legalising drugs. He said: “I hate the idea even as I say it, but I do believe the only way to treat heroin is to legalise it on a prescription.
“I speak from a kind of experience, ever since I moved to London from North Wales in 1967 I mixed with junkies on an almost daily basis. I also lived with a young woman who tried heroin ‘just to see what it was like’. It killed her three years later”.
Chief Constable Barton and Lemmy approach this matter from different perspectives, different experiences.
Whilst I am not totally convinced by their arguments that legalising drugs provides all the answers to this problem, we would all agree that the volume of drug related crime is too high.
There are many reasons why people become drug addicts, they and their families need support. I will continue to give time to consider all the evidenced based proposals to tackle this problem.
Consultation on enhancing the M4 around Newport
Following the UK Government initiating a significant change in the assessment of the affordability of a major enhancement of the M4; the Welsh Government are undertaking (yet another) consultation on options to remedy this matter.
A number of ‘public drop in exhibitions’ have been arranged.
These have been advertised in the Argus; but full details of this consultation have been posted to residents in affected areas and are available on line at www.M4newport.com
It is vital that there is the widest possible response to this consultation. It does not include new Brynglas tunnels; the main element being the provision of a section of three lane motorway between Junction 23 Magor and Junction 29 Castleton on the south side of Newport.
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