THE Scottish Tories have been accused of "spouting falsehoods" after they once again claimed that “the SNP [are] effectively decriminalising” Class A drug use in Scotland - despite having already been corrected by one of Scotland’s foremost legal experts.

Writing on Twitter on Sunday afternoon, the party’s official account wrote: “This week @theSNP announced they were effectively decriminalising all Class A drugs - including heroin, meth and crack cocaine.

“Rather than softening the rules for drug dealers, the SNP should focus on guaranteeing treatment for anyone who needs it.”

However, despite the Scottish Tories’ claim, the decision to allow police to give warnings to those found possessing Class A drugs was actually taken by the Lord Advocate in her role at the head of the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service (COPFS).

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The COPFS is an independent body and although Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain is technically a part of the Scottish Government, her role is non-political and she is not a representative of the SNP.

When the Tories previously made the claim earlier in the week, they had this pointed out to them by Roddy Dunlop QC, one of Scotland’s most senior lawyers and the Dean of the Faculty of Advocates.

Dunlop commented: “Hang on. This is a decision made by the Lord Advocate as head of Crown Office. Not by the Scottish ministers, let alone by the SNP.

“By all means disagree with the move, but let’s be clear as to whose move it is.”

In the Scotland Act (1998), it says that "any decision of the Lord Advocate in his capacity as head of the systems of criminal prosecution ... shall continue to be taken by him independently of any other person".

Welfare Scotland chair Rob McDowall added: “COPFS and the Lord Advocate make their prosecution decisions INDEPENDENT of Government.”

Furthermore, when Tory MSP Pam Gosal questioned whether the warnings for possession of Class A drugs “represent decriminalisation”, Bain was clear that it did not.

“If the warning is accepted, it stays on the individual’s record for two years and is available for the police to consider if the individual comes into contact with the criminal justice system again. The warning is also available to prosecutors to consider,” she told the Holyrood chamber.

“I simply reject the comment the scheme is de facto decriminalisation—for the reasons that I have explained, it is not.”

Bain said the rule change would "help to tackle the drug deaths emergency".

Regardless of these legal experts' corrections, the Tories claimed on Sunday that “the SNP announced they were effectively decriminalising all Class A drugs”.

An SNP spokesperson told The National: “The Tories are in danger of permanently disappearing down the rabbit hole of half-truths, downright lies and conspiracy theories so this sort of misinformation is neither new nor surprising.

“Despite being called out by one of the country’s senior lawyers, they persist in spouting deeply unhelpful falsehoods on a serious subject that deserves to be treated with sensitivity.

“Sadly, the Tories are more interested in trying to score points than helping find meaningful solutions to combat the issue of drugs that is blighting too many lives.”

The Scottish Tories have been approached for comment.