Former Lord Chancellor Charles Falconer has called on the Labour Party to support the legalisation of all drugs.
Falconer, a Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary under Tony Blair, apologised for his involvement in putting prohibition into action, and said the UK should follow other countries in instituting drug reform.
He said: “it is now time to acknowledge our collective failure” and to examine alternatives including the “legalising and regulating of drug supply”.
The Peer said the Government’s stance of prohibition made it complicit in drug-related violence.
He added that he wanted Britain to go further than Portugal, which has highly liberal drug laws, having decriminalised drug use in 2001.
He concluded that, “we need to take back control of drug supply from the most violent gangsters. And it needs to be done sooner rather than later.”
His comments were criticised by Conservative MP Andrew Bridgen, who said the idea is “dangerously irresponsible”.
He added that it was symptomatic of a “shameful refusal to tackle serious social problems and would lead to even more lives being ruined by drugs.”
While Lord Falconer claimed that prohibition was failing people in society and leading to more harm, recent figures have shown a blanket ban can be extremely effective.
Since a clampdown on so-called ‘legal highs’ two years ago, the number of deaths has decreased significantly, dropping by more than half between 2016 and 2017.