Readers' letters:

" Nancy Reagan's "just say no" campaign was a washout and much time was lost following it”

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 7:00 am
Angela Constance, Minister for Drugs Policy
Angela Constance, Minister for Drugs Policy

Time for rethink on Scottish drug policy

The continuing chutzpah from Tory MSP Miles Briggs (News, 21 June) on anything connected with drugs statistics or policy charges ahead un-challenged.

Well, no it doesn't and won't! There are some motivated Scottish Labour MSPs railing against Scotland's position as the shame of Europe and with drug deaths three times that of England.

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Angela Constance, Minister for Drugs Policy

The drugs calamity in Scotland is complex but can be distilled down to the fact Nicola Sturgeon had taken her eye off the ball on drugs deaths in Scotland.

She accepted full responsibility but was clearly talking out of the side of her mouth when she sacked her then drugs minister the next day.

Briggs rightly draws attention, though, to drugs-related admissions to hospital in Scotland. When should we expect the First Minister to come to the Scottish Parliament and accept full responsibility for that? The current SNP drugs minister should be watching their back.

Briggs and his pal in Westminster, the policing minister Kit Malthouse, are cut from the same cloth. The so-called war on drugs has been comprehensively lost but they just won't admit it. Nancy Reagan's "just say no" campaign was a washout and much time was lost following it.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the much derided Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. If Briggs, Malthouse and their Conservative party do not grow up, then drug policy reform will march on without them.

I believe it is said that Tories in deepest shires of England are afraid of upsetting their twin set and pearls membership on this issue. Well, following the Chesham and Amersham by-election result they are now free surely to join in evidence based reform. If not, why not?

Douglas McBean, West Pilton Way, Edinburgh.

Assisted dying

I do hope the Scottish Parliament will not legalise assisted dying (or assisted suicide or euthanasia, as some might call it still).

Whatever the safeguards, my past experience in legal work makes me fear that families can be greedy and callous if benefiting by inheritance is probable on a death. Vulnerable people can be pressurised psychologically by the feeling of being a burden. Equally, medical professionals may be under pressure from health service backlogs and "bed blocking".

Despite supposed legal protections, the idea of assisted dying is fraught with dangers. Legislation should be opposed, for this is a slippery slope.

Gus Logan, North Berwick.

Reston station

Reston new station may only see five trains a day, but well established towns such as Stranrear have only three on weekdays.

But does anybody really wish to travel by rail when the fares are so gigantic compared with Border Buses frequent service?

Colin C Maclean, Hillpark Avenue, Edinburgh.

Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day in the UK has taken place annually since 2009. This year it was designated as June 26. It was introduced in 2009 when there was widespread public criticism of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

There is a case for using Armed Forces Day this year to reflect on the difficult circumstances faced by many ex service personnel.

For over 10 years Tory-led governments have slashed the welfare budget. According to research by the Peace Pledge Union around 13,000 ex-services personnel are thought to be homeless across the UK.

It is time to speak out against cuts to benefits and public services which are detrimental to veterans and the community.

Arthur West, Irvine.