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Boris Johnson proposes stripping drug users of their passports

The proposal comes as traces of cocaine have been found in toilets adjacent to the Prime Minister's office

  • Aneesa Ahmed
  • 6 December 2021
Boris Johnson proposes stripping drug users of their passports

Boris Johnson has proposed new plans to punish class A drug users with the removal of their passports and driving licences, as reported by The Guardian

This initiative is targeted at "wealthy users" who the government argue drive exploitation due to their demand for narcotic substances.

The Prime Minister told The Sun: “We need to look at new ways of penalising them. Things that will actually interfere with their lives, so we will look at taking away their passports and driving licences.”

The government will publish its 10-year drug strategy on Monday, with a strong focus on gangs behind the so-called county lines phenomena.

Read this next: Bust to boom: How drugs won the war on drugs

The county lines phenomena refers to a tactic in which young people are often sent across local authority borders to transport narcotic substances.

The announcement comes at a time when drug overdose fatalities are at an all-time high, up nearly 80% since 2012.

Under this new plan, police officers will be given the authority to search drug dealers' phones and call their clients with drug-related warnings in the hopes of scaring them into altering their ways.

Other measures that have been proposed are expanding drug testing on arrest, the largest-ever funding increase for treatment and recovery, and the developing out of court disposal projects.

The government proposals have been criticised by drug-policy reform advocates.

Read this next: Deaths due to drug poisoning in England and Wales reach record high

Niamh Eastwood, executive director of thinktank Release, said to The Guardian: “While increased funding for drug treatment is welcomed, the focus on more punitive sentences for people who supply drugs is a continuation of a tired tough-on-drugs narrative, one that we have had in the UK for decades.

“This failed policy will do little to address the high rates of drug-related deaths, which over the last decade have increased year on year, with some of the highest rates in Europe.

Britain is going backwards, embracing a Nixon-style ‘war on drugs’ approach.”

Read this next: Meet the woman who wants to revolutionise the UK's approach to club drugs

This move also comes after parliament drug use concerns are to be raised by House of Commons speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle - according to the BBC.

The Sunday Times reports that all but one of the 12 bathroom locations examined in Parliament had evidence of cocaine and that the House of Commons Commission, which oversees the Palace of Westminster, is contemplating using sniffer dogs to identify users.

Some of these traces have been found in the toilets near Boris Johnson and Priti Patel's offices.

Aneesa Ahmed is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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