A series of new laws proposed by the Home Office on Monday could see Britons stripped their passports or driving licences for using recreational drugs.
In the document titled ‘SWIFT, CERTAIN, TOUGH New consequences for drug possession,’ the Home Office has suggested introducing three tiers of punishments for possession of illegal drugs such as cocaine and cannabis.
The penalties include paying for a drug awareness course, fines and severe cases could see the offender lose his/her passport and driving licence.
“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,” the white paper suggests. It further adds that if the individual does not attend the course, they will be forced to pay an increased fine.
The second tier recommends that those caught with illegal drugs could cautioned which could include “a period of mandatory drug testing alongside attendance at a further stage drugs awareness course.”
Under the third tier, the person would “likely” be charged for their offense, and, on conviction, could be faced with an exclusion order, drug tagging, passport confiscation, and driving license disqualification, according to RT.
Home Secretary Priti Patel insisted that “illicit drugs are at the root of untold harm and misery across our society.” She added that more people die every year as a result of drugs than from “all knife crime and 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 ($26.4 billion) a year in England alone,” she wrote in the document.
“We want to see swift and certain interventions delivered which can deter drug use and, alongside other measures, reduce demand for drugs,” she concluded.