May 21 - GSD Say They "Will Continue To Lead" On Drugs Proposals
The GSD's Lawrence Llamas says Together Gibraltar's comments suggesting they "lack vision" are unfair.
A statement from the GSD follows below:
The GSD’s proposed approach to drugs is the culmination of almost a year’s worth of work, outreach and listening to experts in and out of the community.
The GSD has a track record by having pioneered in the area of addiction rehabilitation through the hard work of many but in particular GSD Former Minister The Hon Hubert Corby and the Bruce’s Farm Trust employees at the time. It is lamentable that the project has not changed much in the past 8 years, other than by diminishing the numbers of beds offered.
Months ago the GSD already publicly committed to provide alternative pathways to the criminal route based on care, education and support to those caught with Class A or B drugs that amount to personal use. Depending on the class and quantity of drugs this is to include specifically designed classes, compulsory attendance at support group meetings and/or community service. The same is to apply to those who test positive in A&E. However the fallback position should users not wish to engage in alternative pathways is that drugs will remain as illegal and criminal substances in law.
This tackles the recreational users, however, it also published its wider vision on drugs which goes further:
Crisis situations - Provide a crisis care and management team to assist addicts in the community at times of need
Rehabilitation - Attempt to rehabilitate users from home as much as possible and diversify the rehabilitation programme as far as possible. Provide a system seamless transition from pre-rehabilitation to rehabilitation to aftercare.
Employment - Offer supported internships for recovering addicts
Aftercare - Increase aftercare services and model. The family centre at Midtown Estate has seen a reduction in attendance
Tougher sentences for importers and distributors of drugs
End the cliche “war on drugs” with a balanced, measured and sensible approach that sees a law enforcement officers work with drug support workers
Shadow Minister for Drugs, Alcohol, Addiction and Rehabilitation Lawrence Llamas said: “It is unfair for anyone, in particular Together Gibraltar, to suggest we lack vision, leadership and conviction when we have set out our deeply consulted policy months ago. We have done our homework and reached out extensively culminating in a published approach based on education, support and care with the default position in law remaining illegal. It is important not just as a politician but as a parent to ensure we all understand, especially our youth, that serious actions have consequences and to mitigate those consequences it is going to require will power and commitment.”