PLEASE allow me to respond to Jim Butchart’s patronising, demeaning and stigmatising letter supporting Douglas Ross’s ignorant stance on the Scottish Government’s approach to drugs policy and in particular decriminalisation.

Mr Butchart fails to understand the basics of drug addiction; it is an illness and is not a lifestyle choice any more than alcohol addiction is a lifestyle choice. A cursory look at cause and effect prior to putting pen to paper would show that the underlying causes of addictive illnesses is trauma like PTSD or adverse childhood experiences.

Butchart confuses the issue of decriminalisation with legalisation, addiction, harm reduction and treatment, which results in a concoction of nonsensical rhetoric.

The Scottish Government has already succeeded in making inroads into the unacceptably high number of Scottish citizens dying unnecessarily from drug abuse and its decriminalisation and harm reduction plans will reduce the figures further.

Politics is about doing the right things and delivering for all the people of Scotland, not the ones Mr Butchart sees as the deserving and undeserving. Politics needs is more tolerance and compassion and less judgment.

Arfon Jones

Police and Crime Commissioner for North Wales 2016-21