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As the UK’s General Election looms, we take a look at manifesto pledges and public statements relating to drug policy that have been put forward by the main political parties in England, Scotland, and Wales.

There is an ongoing rise in opioid-related deaths in this country, as Release – the UK’s national centre of expertise on drugs and drugs law – has publicised. The number of heroin and/or morphine deaths increased by 91 per cent between 2012 and 2015; there were 1,201 deaths involving heroin and/or morphine in England and Wales in 2015 – the highest on record. Despite this, among the manifestos of the seven major parties listed below, not even one makes explicit reference to the UK’s mounting opioids crisis .

This is what the UK parties are saying about regulated cannabis

Here’s former Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg in the Daily Mail yesterday

Legalising cannabis would IMPROVE public health, claims Clegg: Former Deputy Prime Minister says it would also capture £1billion in taxes

  • The decision would remove super-strength strains of the herb from the streets
  • Weed users thus would be protected from dangerous ‘skunk’, Mr Clegg said
  • Making the drug legal would capture £1 billion each year in taxes, he argued
And Nicola Sturgeon as reported on STV

Sturgeon ‘sympathetic’ to medicinal use of cannabis

Sturgeon said: “I have long been of the view that there is a case for medical use of cannabis.

“I am not in favour of the decriminalisation or legalisation of cannabis generally but carefully used for certain conditions I think there is a case to be made.