Britons could lose their passports for using drugs

New laws proposed by the UK Home Office aim to introduce tougher penalties for possession of recreational drugs

Recreational drug users in the UK could soon have their passports or driving licenses withdrawn under a series of new laws proposed by the Home Office on Monday.

In the document titled “SWIFT, CERTAIN, TOUGH New Consequences for Drug Possession”, the Home Office proposes to introduce three levels of penalties for possession of illegal drugs such as cocaine and cannabis.

Penalties range from being forced to pay for a drug awareness course to a hefty fine, and can even result in the loss of the offender’s passport and driver’s license.

« Level 1: A person should receive a fixed fine notice as an alternative to prosecution, which requires them to take and pay for a drug awareness course », the white paper suggests, adding that if the individual fails to complete the course, they will be forced to pay an increased fine.

The second level suggests that people caught with illegal drugs might be offered a warning that might include « a period of compulsory drug testing alongside participation in a drug awareness course at a later stage. »

At the third level, the person would be « likely » be charged with their offense and, if found guilty, could be subject to debarment, drug labeling, passport confiscation and a driver’s license ban.

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Home Secretary Priti Patel explained the need for tougher penalties for drug offenses insisting that “Illegal drugs cause untold harm and misery in our society. »

She added that more people die each year from drug abuse than from « all knife crimes and traffic accidents combined. »

“Drugs also cause enormous harm to children and young people, affecting their health and their ability to work and learn. The total cost to society and taxpayers is also enormous, amounting to nearly £22 billion ($26.4 billion) a year in England alone,” she wrote in the document.

Patel said the purpose of this new bill is to ensure drug addicts are « More likely to be taken » and the face « Harder and more meaningful consequences. »

“We want to see quick and certain interventions that can deter drug use and, alongside other measures, reduce the demand for drugs,” she concludes.

The document sets out an objective of suppressing « cohorts of so-called recreational users » and reducing the demand for illicit substances. However, it does not seek to address illicit drug use among children or drug-using adults.

He also notes the dangers of the drug trade, stating that “Too often, people who choose to use drugs casually are shielded or willfully unaware of the human cost of the drug trade that immediately surrounds them. They put money in the pockets of dangerous drug gangs and fuel violence, both in the UK and around the world. We want that to change.“

According to the document, in 2019/20 more than three million people in England and Wales said they had used drugs in the past year. The Home Office argues that these people were putting themselves at risk, making communities less safe and handing over lucrative profits to criminals running a violent and exploitative supply chain.


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