Their statement as published
The war on drugs has been a catastrophic failure. Every year, billions flow to organised crime, while we needlessly prosecute and imprison thousands of people, blighting their employment and life chances, and doing nothing to address the impact of drugs on their health. Our current approach to drugs helps nobody except criminal gangs.
For that reason, Liberal Democrats will:
- End imprisonment for possession of illegal drugs for personal use, diverting those arrested for possession of drugs for personal use into treatment and education (adopting a health-based approach), or imposing civil penalties.
- Break the grip of the criminal gangs and protect young people by introducing a legal, regulated market for cannabis. We would introduce limits on potency and permit cannabis to be sold through licensed outlets to adults over the age of 18.
- Concentrate on catching and prosecuting those who manufacture, import, or deal in illegal drugs.
- Repeal the Psychoactive Substances Act which has driven the sale of formerly legal highs underground.
- Move the departmental lead on drugs policy to the Department of Health.
Norman Lamb’s speech in Parliament March 2016