This Bill will push users into the hands of criminal street dealers in hard drugs and overseas-based internet suppliers who could not care less about what's in the drugs they supply or what effect they have on their clients. The internationally respected expert Professor David Nutt believes this Bill will "increase harm and deaths". Surely that is the last thing anybody wants and yet that is what the Conservative government and the Labour 'opposition' have signed.
Liberal Democrats in the Lords are trying to rescue something from the car crash that is the government's Psychoactive Substances Bill by tabling a series of amendments. The Bill seeks to make it illegal to produce or supply any substance that affects someone's mental functioning or emotional state, unless the government specifically exempts it. This takes the "my substances of choice, like alcohol and tobacco, are OK but yours aren't" approach to a new level.
Violence against women and children by men is important but it is not the whole story. It is important for victims or survivors of LGBT domestic abuse to know that they are not alone, that help and advice is available and that they do not need to put up with an abusive relationship. Many people think support for victims of domestic violence is only available to women who suffer at the hands of an abusive male partner but that is not the case. Many people are unaware that they can be safe, they can be supported and that there is a route out of an abusive same-sex relationship.
For the overwhelming majority who take illegal drugs, drugs laws lack credibility and the way they are enforced is inconsistent and confusing, making them an ineffective barrier. There is tension between politics and science, which draws the drugs classification system into disrepute. Politicians do not want to "send the wrong signal" about how harmful drugs are and so resist reclassification of drugs downwards whilst scientists want to be objective about relative harm, even if it means downgrading a drug. As the drug classification system is a fundamental part of UK drugs laws, this brings the law as a whole into disrepute.