According to the UK Green Party website the Green Party will try to achieve the following if they gain power at the 2010 general election:
DU300 In keeping with the Green Party’s health promotion policies, the Green Party would aim to minimise the misuse of drugs.
DU301 At the same time, we recognise that drug use will never be entirely eliminated. Our policies would aim therefore to minimise the social, psychological and physical harm to those who use drugs and to society at large.
DU302 Green policies on drugs will be directed towards accepting the reality of drug use and will strive to minimise harm, both to the user and to society at large. This will require a more pragmatic approach to the issue of recreational and cultural use and should highlight the broader socio-economic forces which drive people towards escapist use.
DU409 The Green Party would facilitate the establishment of a licensed non-statutory service providing analysis of any drug regardless of source. The service would be available for a small fee both to organisations and to members of the public and would be confidential, although statistical information from results would be published periodically.
DU410 General information and health education relating to all drugs, both legal and illegal, would be improved with separate approaches to three target groups: young people, those who use drugs and the general public. The Green Party would encourage counselling and advice on drugs to be available to everyone and especially to children and young people by the provision of non-statutory services in schools, youth projects, and via street outreach. These services would be free and confidential. (see H308)
DU411 The Green Party would provide an additional health service budget to fund an increase in the range and number of facilities, both residential and non-residential, for people with drug-related problems. Such facilities would be available on the NHS to all who needed them. Local government support for individually-inspired enterprises such as self-help groups would be encouraged.
DU412 In particular, each Local Health Authority would be provided with sufficient resources to establish appropriate drug-use clinics and needle exchange schemes and to ensure the provision of needle sterilisation facilities for use by prisoners. Related health programmes would also be resourced.
DU413 Resources, including greater support and training, would be made available to LHAs for certain medical practitioners to provide long-term (maintenance) prescriptions of drugs to people, including those in prison, who are unable or unwilling to stop, with the aim of reducing harmful consequences – including health and social problems (especially the spread of HIV and other blood-borne infections), pyramid selling and acquisitive crime. For this purpose, regulations would be brought forward ending, where appropriate, the prohibition on the prescribing and dispensing of certain drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act. Evaluation would be a built-in component of this harm-minimisation strategy.
DU420 The Green Party would publicise the fact that as long as there are wide differences in living standards between the nations of the world, there will always be an incentive for the poorer countries to produce drug crops if a ready market exists for them in richer countries.
DU421 Support for international drug-crop eradication and substitution programmes would be ended.
DU422 Poor countries for whose economic survival the cultivation of drug crops (legal or illegal) is critical will be identified. The Green Party would launch a series of initiatives which would offer realistic alternative trading arrangements in more ecologically and socially benign commodities with the communities that are directly involved. Such ‘Trade Substitution Initiatives’ would be small-scale in nature, with the minimal bureaucratic intervention and would aim to provide genuine opportunities for the individual farming communities to move away from drug-centred economic activities.
I would be interested to hear both positive and negative views on UK Green Party’s Drug Use policies in the comments below?