Scottish Police Chief Calls For Anti-Drugs Czar

Scottish Police Chief Calls For Anti-Drugs Czar
Posted by FoM on September 16, 1999 at 07:19:42 PT
Source: Reuters
EDINBURGH A leading police chief in Scotland has said the war against drugs is lost and called for a radical reform of anti-drug policies, including creating a Scottish anti-drugs czar.
Tom Wood, deputy chief constable for Lothian and Borders regions, told a conference late Wednesday he doubted Scotland could ever win the war against illegal drugs and called on the new Scottish parliament to consider legalizing cannabis. ``If it is a war, we're not winning it and I doubt that we've won the battle and I don't believe we ever can,'' Wood said.``I believe Scotland needs a unified approach and a drugs supremo -- and I include alcohol and tobacco in my definition -- with real powers and a remit to cut through the bureaucracy,'' he added.More than 100 people have died from heroin overdoses in Glasgow alone so far this year -- more than all of last year, police say. The Scottish parliament is due to consider creating an anti-drugs agency, but has said it will not try to replace the role played by Britain's overall drug czar Keith Hellawell. Wood's calls for a Scottish drugs czar and a debate about legalizing cannabis in order to let police focus on harder drugs like heroin were backed by Glasgow's Herald newspaper Thursday. ``(He) believes there should be a proper Scottish parliament-led debate on cannabis and criminality. So do we,'' it said. ``On another day of sterile political mud-flinging over drugs, Mr. Wood's contribution is refreshing indeed,'' The Herald said. Thursday September 16 9:14 AM ET Copyright  1996-1999 Reuters Limited
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