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NUS adopt Evidence Based Drug Policy

The National Union of Students have adopted an 'Evidence Based Drug Policy', a motion put forward by YUSU.

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The motion was originally put forward by the University of York Liberal Democrat society.
The motion was originally put forward by the University's Liberal Democrat society.

The National Union of Students have adopted an 'Evidence Based Drug Policy', a motion put forward by YUSU.

The motion was passed by the National Executive Committee and means the NUS is now committed to lobbying the government to use evidence in drug policy making.

The motion was submitted by YUSU after a referendum result in Autumn term meant they had to lobby for an evidence based policy. The referendum motion was originally submitted by York University Liberal Democrats and was passed in December.

The drugs motion had caused controversy and had attracted attention at the referendum debate. However the motion put forward by the University of York Liberal Democrats received 507 'yes' votes while 201 voted against and 191 abstained.

After the result YUSU then took up the position and lobbied the NUS to do the same, which has now been a successful campaign.

This is not the only YUSU motion to be passed by the NUS. The motion put forward to the organisation by Kallum Taylor, YUSU President, to have a fourth maintenance loan for medical, midwifery, and nursing students was passed by the NUS conference.

Cadan ap Tomos, chair of the University of York Liberal Democrats said: "I am incredibly glad that the NUS are wholeheartedly supporting the cause of drug policy reform. It's the result of months of hard work, and I'd like to thank my fellow society members and Kallum Taylor for all that they've done to make this happen."

He added: "This is another nail in the coffin of our outdated drugs laws. Basing drugs policy on scientific evidence, instead of tabloid headlines, is integral to our aim of building a stronger economy and a fairer society, and I'm glad that today the NUS joined with us in making a step in the right direction."

Sam Fisk, co-chair of Liberal Youth, and a student at the University commented: "Today has shown how Liberal Youth can engage with the NUS and how Liberal Youth branches can make a difference.

"Liberal Youth have long campaigned for the Government to ensure its drug policy is based on evidence and not social stigma. Congratulations must go to the University of York Liberal Democrats and Kallum Taylor, the York University Student Union President, for their work in bringing this campaign forward.

"The Government must respect the rights of individuals whilst recognising that rehabilitation and education is a far more effective way of dealing with the misuse of drugs, rather than prison. We believe everyone should be enabled to get on in life, and for the police and judicial services to be wasting their time on minor drug offences ruins people's lives.

"Today also shows the effectiveness of young Liberal Democrat members in lobbying organisations. Recently national Liberal Youth successfully petitioned Nick Clegg to hold a member's webinar on immigration after policy concerns, and today showed the effectiveness of grassroots campaigning in Liberal Youth."

Kallum Taylor, who helped lead the campaign, commented: "It's great to hear that the policy was passed by the NUS NEC.

"I was worried that once the guillotine had fallen at conference that this one would fall behind the NEC's doors - it isn't the most immediate issue on the NUS agenda I'm sure - but I was wrong.

"I'll be meeting up with the people who started it off initially to see what the next steps will be. The more people making the case then the more likely the chance of change."

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