Taking a "soft-approach" to illegal drugs will only facilitate more misuse and endanger more lives, a Scottish Conservative MSP has said.

Yesterday, leading drugs advisor Dr Roy Robertson said that people shouldn't be prosecuted for personal drug use, calling for radical changes to the Government's strategy to help tackle the country's drug problems.

However, Annie Wells, Scottish Conservative spokeswoman on public health, has responded saying that a "comprehensive" strategy involving a deterrent, "making it abundantly clear that carrying illegal drugs will be prosecuted" would tackle the issue.

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The Glasgow MSP said: "The SNP’s soft-touch approach to illegal drugs will only facilitate misuse and mean more young people will endanger their lives and waste their potential.”

Scotland has proportionately the highest number of drug deaths in the EU, though it is thought other countries may under-report the amount of deaths.

The Scottish Government recently announced its ten-year old Road To Recovery substance misuse strategy is to be refreshed after a decade.

Leading Government drug adviser, Dr Robertson, said that the forthcoming strategy should support rather than penalise” and called for radical changes to how to country tackles drug abuse.

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He said that people caught with small amounts of illegal substances should no longer be prosecuted.

Dr Robertson told the BBC: “I do think we are moving towards an area where politicians and policy makers are going to start talking seriously about a new structure to control drugs which allows for the fact that we really don’t want to just put people in jail for the possession of drugs that they have for their own personal use.”

His call was backed by Police Scotland’s substance misuse lead, Ch Insp Allan Elderbrant.

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Public Health Minister Aileen Campbell agreed that there needed to be “innovative solutions to meet the challenges that Scotland has” with substance abuse.

However the UK Government and the Home Office said that there were no plans to change its current focus on enforcement, with drugs policy currently reserved to Westminster.