Scotland's drugs policy minister wants a network of drug consumption rooms across the country.

And she said the Lord Advocate needs “time and space” to consider whether Scotland can open the facilities without the UK changing the law.

The UK Home Office has repeatedly refused to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 to allow consumption rooms to open without fear of prosecution for drug possession.

Dorothy Bain, Lord Advocate, is to decide whether she can recommend Scotland opening facilities while the law remains.

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Elena Whitham, drug and alcohol policy minister, said the UK changing the law or devolving power was the quickest way.

Speaking to the Glasgow Times, she said: “If the UK Government is not going to work to make sure they can do that across the entirety of the UK, they should devolve the powers to us.

“The Lord Advocate has a hugely thorough report in front of her that she is going to consider whether she can give out a prosecution policy that will allow a safer consumption facility to be piloted.

“That would obviously work under a more constrained way than it would if we actually had the Misuse of Drugs Act changed to allow it to be rolled out.

“We need to give the Lord Advocate the space and time to make that decision.

"She is independent of government but foreby that if the UK government really wants to help us here they could do it in a much quicker way.”

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She was speaking at London Road Police Station as Police Scotland completed the rollout of overdose reversal drug Naloxone to all officers up to the rank of Inspector, with 12,000 staff now trained.

Whitham added: “We know that the evidence tells us that it’s going to save lives, so, of course, I would like us to have a network of safe consumption sites across the country as well as a network of drug checking facilities.

“We need people to be armed with information that’s going to allow them to make informed decisions and choices in the safest way possible.”

She said it was about a “safer way” of using drugs.

The minister said: “I don’t want someone having to go down an alleyway in Glasgow to use in an unsanitary way and unsafe way for that person.

“It would be much better if they could do that in surroundings that had all of the other support available to them and make sure they are as safe as they possibly can be.”

Asked about the Conservatives' plan to bring forward a Bill to give people the right to a range of treatment she said she was “open-minded”.

She said: “We need to wait till we see the detail, there were a lot of things thrown up in the consultation stage of that and we need to understand perhaps how they have been addressed if he brings forward a bill.

“This bill has been a wee while in the making and I think for me to comment without actually seeing the detail of it is difficult.

“I do support the right of people getting into the type of treatment that’s going to work for them.”

“I will look at what comes forward with an open mind.”