Green Party Rep, Lesley Veronica, has commented on the White Paper published by the UK Government last week; "Swift, Certain, Tough. New Consequences for Drug Possession"

The Green Party Rep for Oldpark said;

"Eager to appear ‘tough on drugs’ the Home Secretary, Priti Patel has included authoritarian rhetoric and provisions in this paper and accompanying strategy such as the suggested removal of passports and driving licenses from those found in possession of drugs three times."

"While the inclusion of some diversionary strategies such as drug education courses is welcome, the UK Gov strategy is still too much couched in the language of the ‘war on drugs’ which has failed spectacularly by assuming drug use is a personal, individual, ‘poor choice’ problem and fails to identify this as the health and social issue that it is and which cost 191 people their lives in NI in 2019 alone."

"The Green Party NI is instead calling for evidenced based strategies which are long term, supportive and based on harm reduction."

"Families are currently being left bereft and unsupported with stories of repeated attempts to get much coveted places on community-based rehab programmes with limited success."

"We must act fast at every level to tackle this real crisis of people with dependency issues dying far too young."