The news comes as Mayor London Sadiq Khan is seeking ways to examine the effectiveness of UK drug laws. Mr Khan is currently in the US studying the impact of legalising cannabis in Los Angeles in 2016, in order to consider options in the UK.
Taking to Twitter to discuss the notion of implementing and considering new rules, Labour MP for Brent, Dawn Butler, praised the idea and compared it to similar schemes in Scotland.
She wrote: “We need to have a sensible grown-up discussion on drugs in our country.
“We need a public health approach to tackle crime.
“It worked in Glasgow it’ll work in London.
“This is a good first step.”
However, the Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities was slammed over her comparison to Glasgow.
RonReg0807 taking to Twitter wrote: “Worked in Glasgow? who did you ask? Nicola Sturgeon?”
Another social media user, EG, said: “Doesn’t Scotland have the largest drug problem in Europe, clearly that approach didn’t work.”
Whilst Tommy H said: “The demographics in both cities is very different.
“This shows how out of touch you are.”
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According to a report entitled: “Drug-Related Deaths in Scotland”, such deaths are a serious issue in Scotland.
It read: “In 2020, there were 1,339 drug-related deaths registered in Scotland, 5 percent (59 deaths) more than in 2019.
“This was the largest number ever recorded since the series began in 1996.
“The number of deaths has increased substantially over the last 20 years – there were 4.6 times as many deaths in 2020 compared with 2000.”
A particular focus was given to the city of Glasgow.
The report added: “Greater Glasgow and Clyde had the highest death rate at 30.8 per 100,000 population, followed by Ayrshire & Arran and Tayside with rates of 27.2 and 25.7 per 100,000 population respectively.”
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According to the Scottish Government, figures improved slightly in 2021.
It said: “There were 1,295 suspected drug deaths, 8 percent (116) fewer than during the same period of 2020.
“Males accounted for 73 percent of suspected drug deaths.
“This compares with 76 percent during 2020.”
According to the Office for National Statistics, in 2020, 4,561 deaths related to drug poisoning were registered in England and Wales (equivalent to a rate of 79.5 deaths per million people).
This is 3.8 percent higher than the number of deaths registered in 2019 (4,393 deaths; 76.7 deaths per million).
London had one of the lowest rates of drug deaths in England with a rate of 33.1 deaths per million people.
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Cannabis use is on the rise in the UK.
According to Statista, nearly one-third of Britons between the ages of 16 and 59 admitted to having used cannabis at least once in their lifetime.
Cannabis brings in a staggering amount of illicit money in the UK.
A report by the Institute of Economic Affairs finds that the current black market in cannabis is worth £2.6billion per annum, with 255 tonnes sold to three million users in 2016/17.
With Sadiq Khan keen to legalise the drug in the capital, he was also met with stern criticism by other politicians.
Home Secretary Priti Patel wrote on Twitter: “Sadiq Khan’s time would be better spent focusing on knife and drug crime in London.
“The Mayor has no powers to legalise drugs.
“They ruin communities, tear apart families and destroy lives.”
A commission will be set up to examine the proposal, led by Lord Charlie Falconer.
Speaking in Los Angeles, Mr Khan said: “The illegal drugs trade causes huge damage to our society and we need to do more to tackle this epidemic and further the debate around our drugs laws.
“That’s why I am in LA to see first-hand the approach they have taken to cannabis.”