Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Responding to drug misuse

Some readers may recall the acute problem for residents and businesses in the Nicolson Street corridor and elsewhere in the Southside from drug abuse associated with so called legal highs.  The on street problem has reduced significantly - though there continues to be anti-social behaviour associated with drug use in stairs and in gardens and areas of resort for users.

A recent article in the Evening News led me to respond in the light of local experience.  Here is the text:
Who will protect our communities and families from the disruption and anti-social behaviour associated with illegal drug use? Or the damage such use often does messing up the brains of regular users?

I find it is a constant struggle to try and protect my ordinary constituents from the nightmare of chaotic and disruptive behaviour of users and suppliers. 

Tommy Shepherd, however, uses exceptional cases as the driving force for his campaign to make drug use easier (and more expensive to those who pick up the pieces) (Comment, Three compelling reasons the war on drugs must end, 29 March).  Three years ago in the Southside, and in other areas of Edinburgh, there were street fights, injecting within stairs, broken shop windows and a host of other disruption which imposed fear on law abiding citizens as the use of legal highs became prevalent.   After some local despair an enterprising and well qualified local police sergeant at St Leonards managed to persuade the authorities in London to ban them.  The disruption faded away from our streets.

I’ve heard the arguments made by Tommy Sheppard many times before.  But who will protect the ordinary law abiding citizen, as well as those vulnerable people who are prone to the temptations of drug misuse?  A clear message through the laws of the land will help.

Cllr Cameron Rose
Southside & Newington Ward

The original article can be found here

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