Clappison speaks out against decriminalising personal drug use

HERTSMERE MP James Clappison has criticised the leader of the UK’s barristers after he suggested that personal drug use should be legalised.

The Tory backbencher spoke out after Nicholas Green QC, the chairman of the Bar Council for England and Wales, raised the subject in a report published earlier this month.

Mr Green, who has been a barrister since 1986, said: “Drug related crime costs the economy about �13bn a year.

“Again a growing body of comparative evidence suggests that decriminalising personal use can have positive consequences; it can free up huge amounts of police resources, reduce crime and recidivism and improve public health.

“All this can be achieved without any overall increase in drug usage.

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“If this is so, then it would be rational to follow suit.”

However, his comments did not impress Mr Clappison.

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The former barrister, who has represented Potters Bar in Westminster since 1992, said that legalising drugs for personal use would send out the wrong message to young people.

“It could lead to them damaging their health and getting involved in criminal activities.”

He also said he would oppose to any moves to change the system for reclassifying drugs.

“I think the system should be left alone,” Mr Clappison said, before adding: “Reclassification can often send out the wrong signals.”

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