People Who Use Cannabis And Cocaine Could Lose Passports In Proposed New Laws
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People who are recreational users of illegal drugs such as cocaine and cannabis could lose their passport due to the potential introduction of new laws.
The Home Office has published a new document titled 'SWIFT, CERTAIN, TOUGH New consequences for drug possession', and it states there could be three tiers of punishments for not following the rules in England and Wales.
If an offender is charged, there is a possibility of losing both their passport and driving license.
The punishments vary, from being forced to pay for a drugs awareness course to being issued a hefty fine.
The white paper states: "Tier 1: A person should be issued with a fixed penalty notice as an alternative to prosecution, which requires them to attend and pay for a drugs awareness course.
"If they do not attend the course, they will pay an increased financial penalty.
"Failure to pay will result in the fine being registered at court for enforcement or prosecution for the original offence.
"Tier 2: Instead of being charged, a person would be offered a caution which would include, where proportionate, a period of mandatory drug testing alongside attendance at a further stage drugs awareness course.
"Tier 3: A person would likely be charged for their offence. On conviction, a new civil court order could be applied for which would enable the court to impose the following conditions: (i) exclusion order; (ii) drug tagging; (iii) passport confiscation; and (iv) driving licence disqualification."
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: "Illicit drugs are at the root of untold harm and misery across our society.
"The statistics are horrifying.
"More people die every year as a result of drug misuse than from all knife crime and road traffic accidents combined.
"Drugs also cause enormous harm to children and young people, impacting on their health and their ability to work and learn.
"The total cost to society and taxpayers is huge too, running close to £22 billion a year in England alone.
"Even these shocking numbers cannot fully capture the scale of the human tragedy, with countless lives ruined and families devastated.
"It is our mission to turn the tide."
According to the report: "In 2019/20, over three million people in England and Wales reported using drugs in the last year, putting themselves at risk, making our communities less safe and handing lucrative profits to criminals driving a violent and exploitative supply chain."