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A six-year study carried out by leading British scientists, academics and police officers has concluded that illegal drugs should be decriminalised in the UK, according to The Guardian.
The report was carried out by the independent advisory body, the UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC) and suggested that possession of small amounts of controlled drugs should no longer be considered a criminal offence but rather treated as a civil offence.
This would result in many of the 42,000 people sentenced each year for drug possession receiving civil penalties such as a fine, attendance at a drug awareness programme or referral to a drug treatment centre.
In its conclusion, the report stated "Taking drugs does not always cause problems, but this is rarely acknowledged by policymakers. In fact most users do not experience significant problems, and there is some evidence that drug use can have benefits in some circumstances."
The commission went on to call UK drug laws simplistic in seeing all drug use as problematic and that separating drug use from alcohol and tobacco use makes it more difficult to tackle the full range of an individuals substance abuse.
The findings come in the wake of a wide-scale reappraisal of drug laws in the UK including the Channel Four programme, Drugs Live which was headed by former government adviser Professor David Nutt and suggested ecstasy could have therapeutic benefits. You can read the full interview here