Decriminalising drugs will not eliminate the misery they cause families, the Government has said as it rebutted a call from MPs.
The Health and Social Care Committee said the UK’s approach to drugs was “clearly failing” and called for a ‘radical approach’.
But the Government said it “has no plans to decriminalise drug possession”.
The Committee urged Ministers to consult on making possession of drugs for personal use a civil matter rather than a criminal offence.
It also called for the expansion of so-called shooting galleries, where addicts can inject themselves without fear of arrest.
Liberal Democrat MP Dr Sarah Wollaston, who leads the committee, described the recommendations as “desperately needed”.
However, the Government responded robustly, saying that the proposals would do nothing to solve the harms of drug taking.
A Home Office spokesman said: “The decriminalisation of drug possession in the UK would not eliminate the crime committed by the illicit trade, nor would it address the harms associated with drug dependence and the misery that this can cause to families and communities.”
He added: “We must prevent drug use in our communities, support people through treatment and recovery, and tackle the supply of illegal drugs.”
Last month, a senior police officer warned that legalising drugs would not fix the problems of drug abuse or criminal gangs.
Pain and suffering
Chief Constable Andy Cooke, who leads Merseyside Police, said criminals would carry on finding ways to wreak pain and suffering.
Speaking to the Daily Express, the senior officer said: “I don’t want to see drugs legalised.
“It isn’t going to solve the problem of people taking other drugs and it is not going to stop the violence.”