BBC Scotland have changed the headline of a story that claimed the Scottish Government “wants drug possession to be legal”.

Last week, drugs minister Elena Whitham announced a shift in the Scottish Government’s position on personal use calling for decriminalisation, a framework for the creation of drug consumption rooms, and the consideration of implementing a regulated supply of certain drugs.

However, as drugs powers are reserved to Westminster, the plans were swiftly shut down by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, as well as Labour’s shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves.

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BBC Scotland’s online version of the story, published on Friday July 7, initially read: “Scottish government wants drug possession to be legal”.

An updated version of the headline now reads: “Scottish government wanted drugs possession to be decriminalised”.

The story now also contains a correction at the bottom of the article.

“The headline on an earlier version of this article said that the Scottish government wanted drug possession to be legal,” the correction reads.

The National:

“It has since been corrected to make clear that the Scottish government wants personal drug possession to be decriminalised.”

No official correction has been posted in the public broadcaster’s corrections and clarifications log, but that may be because it doesn’t include “routine corrections to news stories”.

Decriminalisation of drug use means that the practice remains illegal, but criminal charges will generally not be used as a punishment. Instead, civil penalties such as referral to a rehabilitation programme may replace criminal sanctions.

It is the fourth correction the broadcaster linked to reporting on the SNP and Scottish Government in recent months.

The BBC has been contacted for comment.

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Sharing a side-by-side mock-up of the two headlines, Twitter user MSM Monitor wrote: “BBC Scotland has edited the original headline on its 'drugs possession' article.

“The broadcaster admitted the 'error' in a note appended to the article.

“This is the fourth error BBC Scotland has admitted inside a month. All four impacted the SNP/Scots Govt negatively.”

It comes after a number of Scottish Tory MPs prompted outrage after conflating decriminalisation of drugs possession with the legalisation of substances.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross claimed that the SNP were attempting to “legalise class-A drugs”, while justice spokesperson Russell Findlay suggested the Scottish Government were trying to make “heroin and crack legal and give a green light to organised crime”.

Drug reform campaigner Peter Krykant accused the MSPs of “inflaming the drugs debate with false information”.

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It also comes after BBC Scotland issued three corrections on its reporting on the Scottish Government and the SNP in June.

The BBC apologised after misquoting the Scottish Government in relation to a decision not to use a banned herbicide on Scottish farms. It also reported on Margaret Ferrier's recall petition in Rutherglen and Hamilton West, without making it clear she no longer represented the SNP.

And, BBC Scotland was forced to apologise again in June after accusing First Minister Humza Yousaf of U-turning on a manifesto commitment relating to free school meals, when he had not.