THE decision of the Scottish Lord Advocate, Dorothy Bain, that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute drug users for simple possession committed within a pilot safer drugs consumption facility, was a brave but very sensible one.

This means that although this issue is an offence in statutory law, and although the UK Government is determined to offer no options to the Scottish Government to allow this to happen by a legal option, the Scottish Parliament, government and social society will be able to ignore the UK Government and proceed with the policy they have been working on.

This is very important for the independence movement and for the concept of Scotland’s constitutional and legal sovereignty. Lessons must be learned for this example.

Andy Anderson

READ MORE: The legal consequences of Scotland's drug consumption room plan

TORY governments, what are they like! Their argument against safe consumption rooms is a simple “there is no safe way to take drugs”, but anyone with a modicum of intelligence knows that few things in life are straight dichotomies, rather that there’s usually a spectrum. So, here’s a simple lesson in logic for Ms Braverman: there are more dangerous ways to take drugs, and there are less dangerous ways.

And here’s another one: policies which increase poverty and deprivation also increase substance misuse.

Derek Ball

​READ MORE: Scottish Government minister explains why drug consumption room bid failed

THE recent statement by the Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain, outlining her willingness to issue guidance that it would not be in the public interest to prosecute users of a safer consumption room for possessing controlled substances, is welcomed news and will undoubtedly lead to a reduction in overdose deaths in Scotland.

People who use drugs are, however, not the only ones who commit an offence but so do those that organise and work in such a safer consumption room. The Lord Advocate’s statement omits to mention those that would technically commit an offence under Sections 8 and 9 of the Misuse of Drugs Act by allowing people to use premises and facilitating the use of drugs.

It will therefore be interesting to see how the Lord Advocate intends to resolve this issue and indemnify those that work in safer consumption.Will she issue a letter of comfort protecting those workers from prosecution?

Arfon Jones
Police & Crime Commissioner for North Wales 2016 – 2021

THE phrase “chapping on doors” is used by such experienced and talented writers in the Sunday National as Gerry Hassan and Ruth Wishart. To my ear it is always associated with the idea of the rank-and-file of the independence movement being sent out with leaflets in the slight chance of garnering a few votes but at least keeping them occupied and out of mischief. In fact the main body of the movement is thoughtful and literate, as is constantly proven by the letter pages of The National.

This is reinforced by the writing of those I have mentioned, and such as Bella Caledonia, Elliot Bulmer and other unremitting supporters of the cause. It is obvious that all this knowledge should be put to use in a higher purpose than “tirlin at the snecks” as the Scotch language once had it. I was therefore much taken with the suggestion in The National by Graeme McCormick headed “Negotiations first, election second” (Sep 11). This is where all this talent should be put to work.

We should hammer out every detail of our future Scotland by debate, voting and then recording in a public convention and then inform the world of our aspirations and confront the Westminster Parliament with it. They will not be able resist making objections and will thus be pulled into the negotiations willy-nilly. Once they are part and parcel of it it will be increasingly difficult for them to evade the subsequent democratic process.

Iain WD Forde

I REFER to the web contribution from Kenzie Garnier Stewart (Sep 3) in which he poses the question “Independence in the EU – is that the proposition for the next vote for freedom ?” and suggests “we want to expose the flank again by sidetracking the debate into arguments over EU membership”.

He also writes: “Yousaf regularly mentions Norway as the example we should aspire to, yet seems unaware it sits happily out side the EU orbit.”

I am sure First Minister Humza Yousaf does know that Norway is well within the orbit of the EU as a member of the European Economic Area (EEA ) which includes Iceland and Liechtenstein, and membership of the EEA allows these countries to be part of the EU single market.

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Since 2001 Norway has also been part of the Schengen Agreement that allows all Norwegians to travel freely within the EU As an EEA member Norway does not elect MEPs, but because Norway sees the advantage of being part of the single market it contributes its financial share to the EU.

By rejoining the EU, Scotland would be recognising the advantages that Norway has from being part of the EU and is indeed “an example we can aspire to” both because of its integration with all EU laws and because of its domestic policies, which make it one of the world’s most prosperous and socially equal countries.

Tor Justad
Strathpeffer, Ross-shire

AS a result of many years of internal squabbling in the Labour and Tory parties, the UK is well into a second decade of austerity enforced by Labour, Tories and LibDems.

Mitigating action taken by the SNP ensures that hundreds of thousands of Scots have more to eat than a flag.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry