Since 2017, 850 babies have been born addicted to drugs (almost 3000 since the nationalists came to power).
The drugs space is complicated and everyone living in Scotland is affected one way or another - 1339 deaths are real people; then, of course, there are families, neighbours, friends, colleagues and just people you know.
The most significant laws affecting drug policy are reserved to Westminster. However, health, housing, justice and policing are devolved. The Scottish Government could make a difference. They have, but in the wrong direction, things are worse and worsening, not improving.
Scotland's drug laws are the same as for England yet our death rate is three times greater and the worst in Europe. How can that be?
So what is the judgement of (independent) Audit Scotland? The bottom line is that Scottish Nationalists in government lack drive and ambition. I cannot think of much worse that could be said of our rulers.
While laws in this area are made in London, there is much the nationalists could do, not least summon up some of that drive and ambition, including In local government where the majority of funding is allocated, council services, social care and health.
If one is looking for concrete evidence that we are being listened to, you would think the separatists would have some concrete proposals in their manifesto. Well I cannot find them.
When I picked up an SNP leaflet this week a significant proportion of it was handed over to the first minister, and her stock answer to everything: "Edinburgh is a proud European capital and deserves to be the heart of an independent nation".
Edinburgh comes after Dundee and Glasgow in the drugs related numbers; is she proud of that for our great cities?
Douglas McBean, Edinburgh.
Vegan Earth Day
Make a real impact on the climate catastrophe this Earth Day (April 22) simply by cutting meat, eggs, and dairy from your diet. This will reduce your carbon footprint from food by up to 73 per cent, according to researchers at the University of Oxford.
Doing so isn’t just preferable – it’s necessary. In fact, the United Nations says that a global shift towards plant-based eating is urgently needed to combat the worst effects of the climate catastrophe.
Animal agriculture is responsible for nearly one-fifth of all human-induced greenhouse gas emissions and causes immense suffering to cows, pigs, lambs and other animals farmed for their flesh.
It also takes its toll on the world’s rainforests, especially in Latin America, where vast areas are cleared for cattle grazing or to grow animal feed.
Vibrant vegan foods are animal-friendly, antibiotic-free and widely available. A healthy plant-based diet has been shown to prevent – and sometimes even reverse – heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
Natalie Tambini, PETA, London
Another fine mess
In March 2021 a member of the public was fined £10,000 for holding a New Year's Eve party in Watford during lockdown.
In August 2021 a Sheffield man was fined £1760 for failing to wear a mask in a BP service station.
Yet Boris Johnson has so far only been fined £50 for his parties during lockdown. And Nicola Sturgeon has got off scot-free – pardon the pun - for her mask misdemeanour.
This tells you all you need to know about how society works.
Geoff Moore, Alness, Highland.
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