DAVID Cameron has rejected Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s call for a Royal Commission to rethink drug laws and ruled out the decriminalisation of any illegal narcotics.
The Liberal Democrat leader dramatically signalled his split with the Prime Minister on the controversial issue by declaring that Britain was losing the war on drugs and a new approach was needed.
But Mr Cameron said the Coalition government had already taken necessary action to change drug policy, and there was evidence that this was bearing fruit in terms of reduced levels of abuse.
He said that Mr Clegg was “entirely entitled” to advocate further change, but made clear that this was only in the context of the Lib Dem manifesto for
the next general election, not the policies of the coalition
Mr Clegg said the Prime Minister had missed an opportunity by ruling out a Royal Commission on drugs policy when it was recommended in a report by the influential House of Commons Home Affairs Committee earlier this week.
“If you were waging any other war where you have 2,000
fatalities a year, your enemies are making billions in profit, constantly throwing new weapons at you and targeting more young people, you’d have to say you
are losing and it’s time to do something different,” said the Lib Dem leader.
Mr Clegg insisted he is not in favour of full legalisation of drugs, but thinks targeting dealers and traffickers, while decriminalising possession, might be a solution.
But Mr Cameron told a press conference in Brussels: “Of course the Deputy Prime Minister is entirely entitled to take a view for the next election and beyond for his manifesto, wanting to go further, wanting a Royal Commission.
“I personally don’t support a Royal Commission.”