Rap mogul SEAN 'P DIDDY' COMBS has called for New York's strict drug laws to be repealed.

The laws, passed in the 1970s, can subject first time offenders to 15 years to life in prison if convicted of selling two ounces, or possessing four ounces, of a controlled substance.

Combs joins fellow hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons and former American housing secretary Andrew Cuomo in asking for the legislation to be revoked.

He says, "If you are not affected by this law you can't really even fathom the amount of damage this is doing to somebody's family, somebody's mother, somebody's father, somebody's child.

"Lives are changed by this law, that if it's not happening to you or to one of your family members you may not really feel the effect of it."

There is a broad consensus the laws are too harsh, but Governor GEORGE PATAKI and the state legislature have been unable to agree on how to reform or repeal them.

30/05/2003 17:03