Abolishing prison sentences for drug possession will free up resources to go after the "Mr Bigs", Justice Secretary Simon Hughes told Good Morning Britain.
Responding to criticism of the Lib Dem manifesto pledge, announced today by party leader Nick Clegg, Mr Hughes said: "the people who simply are picked up for having drugs which they are using themselves...and we don't believe that sending them to prison which costs the state a lot of money...is the answer and we would use the money we save...to concentrate on the 'Mr Bigs', the people who sell drugs, the people who promote the drugs, the people who import the drugs."
More top news
An ejector seat manufacturer is to be prosecuted over the death of Red Arrows pilot Sean Cunningham at RAF Scampton in November 2011.
Police said the "active shooter" had since been shot by officers and they were not seeking any other suspects.
Rain will continue spreading in from the southwest, remaining heavy, especially in western areas.