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  1. Tom Savvides

Mother calls for the legalisation of drugs

The mother of a 15 year old school girl from Oxford who died after taking pure ecstasy is calling on the Government to legalise drugs. Martha Fernback collapsed and died after taking a substance called MDMA last year. It comes as a major parliamentary drugs debate took place today. Some MP's, including Brighton's Caroline Lucas, say drug laws should focus on treatment rather than punishment. This report from Tom Savvides includes interviews with Anne-Marie Cockburn, Caroline Lucas MP, Norman Baker MP and Maryon Stewart.

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Brighton Pavilion MP's debate on drug laws on agenda

Caroline Lucas, Brighton Pavilion MP, secured today's debate with cross-party backing Credit: MP's website

A debate on the UK's drug laws is to take place in Parliament later. Caroline Lucas, the MP for Brighton Pavilion, secured the discussion with cross-party backing and a petition which amassed 130,000 signatures.

Speaking ahead of the debate, the MP said:

“We all want a drugs policy that works. We want policies that reduce drug-related deaths and protect our children. Policies that rid our communities of the harms associated with drugs misuse and which ensure individuals get the help and support they need.

“But if we’re to have a drugs policy that does all of these things, then it has to be based on evidence.

“This debate is not about being for or against drugs reform. It’s about making sure we have the best possible laws based on the best possible evidence. It is the responsibility of every MP to be there to represent their constituents.”

– Caroline Lucas MP, Brighton Pavilion, Green Party
Drug laws including those on the use of cannabis are being debated by MPs Credit: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire
  1. National

'No chance' drugs will be legalised, government say

The Tories say there is "no chance" drugs will ever be legalised. Credit: PA

There is "no chance" drugs will be legalised following a report which states tougher laws have no effect on substance misuse, the government say.

A Liberal Democrat report claims it is "pointless" punishing drug users and more time should be spent on cracking down on criminal gangs who traffic drugs than addicts

But in a statement Number 10 said: "This report provides no support whatsoever for the Lib Dem's policy of decriminalisation. In fact, it clearly states that it would be inappropriate to draw those kind of conclusions.

"The Lib Dem policy would see drug dealers getting off scot-free and send an incredibly dangerous message to young people about the risks of taking drugs

"As the report makes very clear, the Government's approach already provides a good balance between enforcement and treatment, drug use is plummeting as a result and there is simply no chance that we will entertain such a reckless change of course ."

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Lucas cleared of Balcombe anti-fracking charges

Brighton Pavilion MP Caroline Lucas was arrested outside energy company Cuadrilla's exploratory oil drilling site in Balcombe, West Sussex, last August 19.

She was among a group of protesters who had linked arms outside the site, which had become a national focal point for anti-fracking protests.

During the trial at alongside four co-defendants, Lucas, 53, said she "wanted to express solidarity" by protesting peacefully. She was found not guilty of the two charges she faced - wilful obstruction of a public highway and breaching an order under Section 14 of the Public Order Act.