It seems to be a rule in UK Politics that candidates are supposed to be critical of each other, but not in this case. One independent candidate I want to give special mention to is Peter Krykant who is running in Falkirk. He’s a man that’s facing prosecution because the UK’s laws on drugs are archaic, they vilify drug users making them reluctant to seek assistance.
Safe consumption facilities have been proven to reduce overdose deaths, and with the right layout and the right staffing, they also afford a person a place to ask for help when they are ready to kick the addiction. Peter is a man who was a heroin user himself, he’s kicked that addiction and he’s rebuilt his life, and now he goes out every day with his overdose prevention vehicle onto Scotland’s streets, facing prosecution each time he does, just to save lives. That, in my view, is worthy, not only of respect but also of sincere and unequivocal backing.
“The law says it is illegal” is not an excuse for failing people in Scotland who need help. The situation needs to be addressed, not in a year, not in 10 years, but now!
Before the election campaign kicked off I was proud to back his safe consumption policies including his bill for safe consumption facilities. There are way too many people dying in Scotland from drug use and it needs to stop, irrespective of whether it is a “reserved matter” to Westminster – That’s why I have made peter a promise. If we’re both elected I’ll back him. If it transpires only one of us is elected, I’ll still back him. If he’s elected and I am not, I’ll help him any way I can, and if I am elected and he is not, then I have given him a promise that I will pursue his safe consumption bill in Holyrood.