THE SNP's conference has voted to overhaul drug laws and pave the way for possession and consumption to be decriminalised.

Delegates at the party's autumn conference in Aberdeen unanimously called for the "urgent reform" of the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. 

They demanded drugs legislation be devolved to Scotland "to allow for decriminalisation of possession and consumption of controlled drugs so that health services are not prevented from giving treatment to those that need it". 

It comes after figures showed Scotland had one of the worst drug-death rates in the world last year, with 1,187 fatalities, an increase of 27 per cent on 2017.

SNP MP Tommy Sheppard said Scotland had to adopt bold policies to "stop this cull which is going on in our communities". 

He said: "I know this will be difficult for many people...but doing nothing is not an option."

Alison Thewliss, MP for Glasgow Central, said Scotland faces a drugs crisis "and a public health emergency". 

She said the Misuse of Drugs Act remains a barrier to Glasgow opening safe drug consumption rooms.

She added: "This outdated law makes criminals of those who want to save lives."

Ms Thewliss said: "We need full control of drug laws in Scotland, and we need it now."

SNP delegates unanimously passed a motion labelling the Misuse of Drugs Act "not fit for purpose in 21st century Scotland". 

An amendment called for drugs legislation to be devolved to allow for decriminalisation of possession and consumption.

Glasgow councillor Mhairi Hunter wrote on Twitter afterwards: "Delighted conference voted for Portuguese-style decriminalisation of drug possession.

"To be honest I thought we might get a bit more resistance but support was overwhelming."