Scottish Liberal Democrats will this afternoon trigger a vote that could see the Scottish Parliament back the principle of drug decriminalisation for the first time, as MSPs reflect at the close of Parliament on how to address Scotland's drugs death emergency.
Justice spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP commented:
"People are dying preventable deaths three, four, five, maybe even six decades before their time. The pain felt by families and friends will still be so raw. Parliament owes it them to drop any lingering excuses. There are none.
"People found in possession of drugs for personal use should be diverted into treatment. Prison is not the place for vulnerable people gripped by addiction. Target the dealers but get people into treatment.
"Police officers have spoken about feeling hopeless and helpless. They are urging us to have courage because they see people going into the criminal justice system and ending up dead.
"It will always be for the incoming government to take forward its agenda. But such a statement in favour of decriminalisation from the outgoing Parliament would be difficult to ignore.
"These Scottish Liberal Democrat calls have been voted down before. I'm hopeful today will be different as MSPs examine what can be salvaged from a terrible Parliament from the perspective of the drugs deaths emergency."