THE Scottish Greens have called for an end to the war on drugs, and a more person-centred focus to Scotland’s drug policy.

The party’s co-leader Lorna Slater will launch its drugs proposals today, calling for it to be considered a health issue as opposed to a legal one.

The Scottish Government was criticised in December when new figures showed the number of drug-related deaths had risen to a record 1264 in 2019.

Following the announcement, SNP MSP Angela Constance was appointed Drugs Minister and a “national mission” was launched to tackle the problem.

Slater said: “Scotland has the highest level of drug-related deaths in Europe.

“It’s clear the war on drugs has failed.

“We need a completely different approach. While outdated UK-wide laws present us with some challenges, Greens believe that there are bold steps that can be taken now to address the national scandal of drug deaths.”

Slater said Scotland should continue the use of policies designed to reduce harms, as she said her party supports the use of safe consumption rooms.

The policy would allow the opening of facilities in major population centres where addicts could take drugs under the supervision of medical professionals and is designed to cut down on overdoses, the use of tainted drugs and the sharing of equipment.

However, the UK Government has repeatedly stood against the move, which would need a legal exemption to ensure addicts and staff could not be prosecuted.

Slater added: “Scotland has a proud record of harm reduction, with things like the smoking ban, minimum unit pricing for alcohol and our approach to knife crime.

“Our approach to drugs must continue that tradition, and the need is urgent.

“That’s why we support safe consumption and other measures to prevent deaths and focus on rehabilitation, so we don’t clog up our prisons with victims.”