Neil Findlay urges Tories to put lives before party on drug reform
Scottish Labour MSP Neil Findlay has urged Scottish Tory politicians to put constituents lives before party in order to tackle Scotland's drug deaths.
A cross-party group of Scottish politicians have signed a petition to the Scottish and UK Government's, calling for a fresh approach to the crisis.
New figures revealed Scotland suffered the highest recorded rate of drug deaths in the whole of Europe, with nearly 1200 losing their lives - a rise of 27 per cent since 2017.
The rates of people dying from poly drug use, where more than one substance is abused, have also soared.
Findlay's petition calls on every level of government to address the "public health crisis" with an "evidence led approach to policy that examines all options, including decriminalisation".
Despite MSPs from other parties backing to call, Findlay told the Daily Record that Tories were "unwilling to break cover", despite privately backing reform.
“I know there are people in the Conservative party who share our views about the need for major reform of drugs policy, including a real look at decriminalisation.
“I appeal to them to put the lives of constituents ahead of party, " he told the newspaper.
His petition has been signed over 500 times.
Calls for urgent reform have come from across Scottish civil society and the press, with politicians under increasing pressure from experts to take a radically different approach to tackle the growing crisis.