Public Health Minister Joe FitzPatrick has accused the UK Government of "standing in the way of saving lives" by denying pleas for a safe drugs consumption room in Glasgow.
Responding to a question from SNP colleague Tom Arthur during Topical Questions at Holyrood, he agreed the decision to deny the city a so-called "fix room" was shameful.
In 2018, 1,187 people died in Scotland from drug-related causes, according to statistics released in the summer.
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Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Government have been calling for a safe consumption room in recent years, which they hope will reduce the number of drug-related deaths and illnesses in the city.
The Home Office has repeatedly refused to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act to allow the centre to move forward.
Mr FitzPatrick called on the UK Government returned to Westminster after the December 12 General Election to allow for the Act to be amended, or for drugs policy to be devolved to Holyrood.
On Monday, Westminster's Scottish Affairs Committee released a report into problem drug use in Scotland that recommended a move towards decriminalisation of drugs for personal use along with the opening of such a centre.
Mr FitzPatrick said: "I just do not understand how the UK Government, who have recognised the benefits of these facilities, can stand in the way of saving lives.
"There's a strong body of evidence from a number of countries that these facilities prevent fatal overdoses and encourage engagement with services.
"Furthermore, a range of health professionals from across the UK gave evidence to say that this is the most important thing that Glasgow could do."
He added: "I call on the incoming UK Government to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act or to devolve the powers which will allow this Parliament to take a range of public health focused initiatives which will save lives.
"I think the UK Government should be taking a public health approach to drugs right across the country, but if they won't do it, then please devolve these powers so this Parliament can make these decisions."
The report also detailed the effects of a drop in funding to local Alcohol and Drug Partnerships, something Scottish Conservative justice spokesman Liam Kerr picked up on.
Mr Kerr asked if there had been any research done into the effects of the funding drop on the delivery of the services.
Mr FitzPatrick responded by pointing to an increase of £20 million to partnership funding in 2018, along with another £20 million announced in the Programme for Government in September.
Scottish Labour health spokeswoman Monica Lennon asked if the Scottish Government was considering a move to de facto decriminalisation projects - where the decision is made not to prosecute someone for a crime that remains against the law - which were supported by the Lord Advocate.
Ms Lennon said Scotland's top prosecutor claimed he had the power to expand the current measures further than just cannabis.
Mr FitzPatrick replied: "This is one of the measures that the drug deaths task force is looking at and the Crown is part of the task force to make sure that we look at what more we can do.
"I do think that it's important that we look further afield at what more we can do and I think we have to use every lever possible."