David Cameron has been urged to consider legalising drug use by a group of 60 major thinkers and celebrities including Sting, Yoko Ono and the former American president Jimmy Carter.
By Rowena Mason, Political Correspondent
In a letter to the Prime Minister and every member of Parliament, the public figures claim the “global war on drugs has failed”.
The roll-call of eminent names includes seven former presidents, 12 Nobel Prize winners and six British MPs.
Their letter says the illicit drug industry, worth £285 billion a year, is the third most valuable in the world after food and oil.
It calls for a debate on “decriminalising” the world’s 250 million drug users and asks Mr Cameron to start a public conversation with other global leaders.
The group claims that drug use should be treated as a medical problem, rather than a criminal one.