A debate over whether legalising drugs could save lives will take place in Bradford city centre next week.

Mum Anne-Marie Cockburn, whose daughter died in an accidental overdose aged 15, is among the voices on the panel.

Her only child, Martha Fernback, lost her life after swallowing half a gram of 91 per cent pure MDMA. 

Now she is calling for legal control and regulation of the drug market - claiming it would prevent more young deaths.

The event comes 10 years after Martha’s death. 

Anne-Marie, founding member of Anyone’s Child: Families for Safer Drug Control, said: “It's too late for my daughter, but in order to protect other families, we need to remove drugs from the illegal market and establish a legal, regulated supply. 

“As I stand by my only child's grave, I don't need any more evidence that it's time to have a grown-up discussion about this."

Her experience will be shared alongside five panellists at Fountains Church on Thursday, November 9.

JS Rafaeli, author of three widely acclaimed books and writer on War on Drugs and Decade of Hate for Vice World News, will share his expertise.

Dr Mohammed Qasim, author of the 2018 book, Young, Muslim and Criminal, is also lined up.

Suzanne Sharkey, of Law Enforcement Action Partnership and Anyone's Child: Families for Safer Drug Control, will echo her thoughts.

Meanwhile guests can hear from Daniel Ahmed, clinical director of Cranstoun and founder of a groundbreaking treatment clinic for long term heroin users in Middlesbrough.

Bradfordian Vicki Beere, chief executive of Project 6, has over 22 years of working in the drug and alcohol sector.

She is a PhD candidate currently researching the impact of drug policy on women.

Vicki said: “For over 20 years I have worked with people affected by drug use and more significantly by the harms that prohibition causes. 

“It’s time for treatment providers to stand up and say no more to the war on drugs. If we don’t we are part of the problem, not the solution.”

There will be a striking memorial of 4,517 hand-made forget-me-not flowers for lives lost to drugs in the UK in 2021.

Visitors can also tour the UK’s first unsanctioned Overdose Prevention Centre, which previously operated in Glasgow out of a converted ambulance. 

The free event will take place between 6.30pm and 8pm.

Anyone who wants to attend the event can book a place by visiting https://bit.ly/legalisedrugspanel