MP Ronnie Cowan hopes even a Tory majority in the General Election could bring reforms to UK drugs policy – because Boris Johnson and his mates have confessed to taking cocaine and cannabis themselves.

The SNP MP for Inverclyde has been at the vanguard of the campaign to decriminalise drugs, which led to his party adopting the reform as official policy at its conference last month.

Cowan believes the growing drug deaths crisis and rising support for a health-based attitude to addiction means even Johnson could jump on the bandwagon.

Cowan said: “We have no idea what the General Election will throw up but part of me holds a bit of hope through Boris Johnson because I think he gets it with drugs because he and his pals have taken them.

“The potential is there for the right person to be appointed in the Home Office and the right person to be appointed to health and for them to get their heads together and make things happen.

“The current PM has a close body of people and with the right nod, doors can open very quickly.

“I really believe that a small tweak here and there on this issue can lead to a culture change, particularly when so many people in politics and in the general population are clamouring for change.

SNP MSP Ronnie Cowan has been at the vanguard of the campaign to decriminalise drugs

"Boris Johnson and many of his mates have all taken drugs and will know that it doesn’t make sense to criminalise and stigmatise young people for the rest of their lives for making similar choices.”

Cowan has visited Spain and Portugal to see the positive effects of initiatives like drug consumption rooms (DCR) and mobile methadone vans that enable users to maintain stable lives in employment while dramatically reducing the death rates.

He admits to being “flabbergasted” at the adoption of decriminalisation by his party, which followed the Daily Record’s campaign for reform, which included a call for a radical approach.

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He said: “When I saw the front cover of the Daily Record advocating the decriminalisation of drugs , I was blown away. For a red-top paper to make such a bold declaration, I was just like, ‘Wow’. It shows how far we’ve come and it was bold journalism.”

At the SNP party conference in Aberdeen, Cowan’s views were emphatically elevated from the fringes of the party to the mainstream.

He said: “I was really flabbergasted as the SNP conference hall took to it so well and in such numbers.”

The Home Office has repeatedly refused to sanction the opening of a DCR in Glasgow, where addicts can take drugs they would otherwise be taking on the streets in safety.

The Record's call to decriminalise drugs

Such centres, operated in many countries, stock naloxone, which reverses the effects of opiate overdose, and no user has ever died in a DCR.

Cowan said: “The Lord Advocate could have given a nod to allow DCRs but he declined and I have sympathy for his view, as he was mindful that people working in such places could be open to prosecution if anything went wrong.

“It comes down to interpretation of the law but I think it could still be done.”