The First Minister believes that there should be cross-party collaboration to implement ‘bold and new’ initiatives to tackle drug-related deaths in Scotland.
During First Minister’s Questions (22nd March 2018), Neil Findlay MSP asked:
“Scotland has the highest level of drug deaths in Europe. If this was from knife crime or flu there would rightly be a national outrage.
“Doing the same in policy terms and expecting a different result just won’t work, so will the First Minister take a bold step and consider looking very seriously and working across parliament on a major change of drugs policy and stop people dying and end this public health crisis.”
First Minster of Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, responded:
“I think it is a national outrage that so many people die of drugs. We’ve had debates in this chamber before about one of the issues being the aging of a cohort who used drugs when they were younger.
“Drug use, and I think this is something we should all remember and welcome, drug use among the younger population is actually falling and that is a good thing.
“On this issue there is always a need for new and bold thinking and we should try and come together and be prepared to sometimes do things that may be controversial and may, in some areas, be unpopular. But where there is an evidence base for them, we should have the courage to do them.
“I certainly want this Government to be fully part of that and indeed to lead on these issues.”