"War on Drugs

Indonesia's War on Drugs: On Capital Punishment and How it Harms Public Health and Human Rights

Citta Widagdo | Posted 30.06.2016 | UK
Citta Widagdo

If President Jokowi is to fix the drugs problem, he should employ human rights-based legal responses and evidence-based public health policy and measures, consistent with the spirit of health and human rights norms to protect the wellbeing of its citizens.

Depressed? You Need A Fungi To Be With.

Nick Abbot | Posted 31.05.2016 | UK
Nick Abbot

Imagine traipsing though a bosky glade, an opening in the trees on some light-dappled hill. The scent of myrtle in the air, the leaves on the trees a ...

A Blanket Ban Suggests There Is a Simple Answer to Legal Highs - The Truth Is Much Hazier

Paul Noblet | Posted 27.05.2016 | UK
Paul Noblet

A blanket ban in itself is perhaps not a bad thing. But placing the burden wholly on the police to eradicate NPS use is unlikely to yield results. The government must do better and it could start by increasing the paltry £180,000 it currently spends on educating young people about drugs. .. Education and medical support can be no more expensive than condemning vulnerable young users to long sentences in prison. And this is not the binary problem the government's catch-all law suggests. A ban may keep costs off the statute book, but it won't conceal the reasons some of the most vulnerable young people are turning to often dangerous, now illegal highs.

Why Pointing a Finger at Countries With the Death Penalty for Drugs Is Not Enough

Rick Lines | Posted 24.05.2016 | UK
Rick Lines

We are commonly told by political leaders that punitive drug laws are needed to 'send a message'. Perhaps, then, the most powerful way that non-death penalty States can truly challenge capital punishment for drugs is to reject the supremacy of punitive suppression within their own domestic drug laws...

Beyond Bureaucracy: The Aftermath of UNGASS

Amanda Feilding | Posted 11.05.2016 | UK
Amanda Feilding

The UNGASS was a disappointment to both progressives and hardliners alike. Whilst we may decry the small progress in the outcome document, we can find solace in the fact that an increasing number of countries seem intent on acting unilaterally outside the UN Drug Conventions. Principled non-compliance may start to become the norm.

Money Is Flooding Into Cannabis but Ignorance Still Prevails

George McBride | Posted 04.05.2016 | UK
George McBride

The cannabis debate is in a strange place at the moment: the evidence available is better than ever, debate is more mainstream, money (still not much) is available for people to study drug policy, and yet the international debate is stifled and the old school of the policy world is still promulgating evidence based on fear, not reason.

The Drugs Consensus Is Not Pretty - It's Been Ripped Apart at the Seams

Ann Fordham | Posted 03.05.2016 | UK Politics
Ann Fordham

This UNGASS demonstrates the impact civil society pressure can achieve. The drug policy reform movement will continue to grow into a formidable global social movement towards 2019. The collective demand for change will grow ever louder leading to sustainable and seismic break-throughs at national, regional and ultimately UN levels.

The Dangers of Legalising Marijuana

Thomas Smith | Posted 25.04.2016 | UK Universities & Education
Thomas Smith

The answer to both questions is 'no', and the onus is now on the government to carefully review the implications of marijuana before deciding on its legalization- for it could well prove a decision damaging and myopic.

Out of UNGASS: Launching the 2016 Public Letter of the Beckley Foundation

Amanda Feilding | Posted 24.04.2016 | UK
Amanda Feilding

We the undersigned call on Governments and Parliaments to recognise that: Fifty-five years after the 1961 UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs was launched, it is clearly evident that the global war on drugs has had many unintended and devastating consequences worldwide, and has failed to eliminate drug production or drug use.

Drug Treatment Disinvestment Undermines UK Attempts to Show International Leadership

Paul Hayes | Posted 22.04.2016 | UK Politics
Paul Hayes

The UK Government's message to the UN is right - robust investment and light-touch enforcement is the path forward - but those words will ring hollow if we fail to heed them at home.

How Long Can Civil Society Be Ignored?

George McBride | Posted 17.04.2016 | UK
George McBride

The UN is becoming increasingly irrelevant in the drug policy debate as wealthy countries act unilaterally to bring about changes in their own countries, undermining the UN Drug Conventions but leaving them in place, unchanged.

Why I Oppose the Criminalisation of Drug Use in the Name of Protecting Children

Damon Barrett | Posted 13.04.2016 | UK Politics
Damon Barrett

It seems to me that a question we have to grapple with, no matter where we live and what the circumstances, is whether the criminalisation of drug use and possession among adults is justifiable on the grounds of protecting children. I think it's not.

Life Beneath a London Drug Den

Jonnie Bayfield | Posted 12.04.2016 | UK
Jonnie Bayfield

About two years ago I moved into a property buried deep in a London suburb. For reasons that will become clear the location will remain undisclosed, though It is owned by a housing trust and leased out to an agency; who fill it with people like me in order to keep vandals and sex workers from illegally squatting in the empty building. It's a regular fixture in the London living scene (especially for struggling artists) so I won't bore you with the details.

The Coming of Age of LSD

Amanda Feilding | Posted 13.04.2016 | UK Tech
Amanda Feilding

It seems amazing that something so totally personal as ones level of consciousness could be considered an illegal act. But there is a turning of the tide both in policy and in scientific research, which has begun to recognise the value of these substances.

Lancet Report Means Drug Reformists Can't Be Branded 'Crazed Drug Users'

The Huffington Post | Steven Hopkins | Posted 24.03.2016 | UK

A major study on drugs led by a prestigious medical publication and a world leading medical school has called for minor drug offences to be decriminal...

The Psychoactive Substances Bill Only Creates More Criminal Offences, Confusion, Harm and Deaths

Lord Brian Paddick | Posted 27.01.2016 | UK Politics
Lord Brian Paddick

This Bill will push users into the hands of criminal street dealers in hard drugs and overseas-based internet suppliers who could not care less about what's in the drugs they supply or what effect they have on their clients. The internationally respected expert Professor David Nutt believes this Bill will "increase harm and deaths". Surely that is the last thing anybody wants and yet that is what the Conservative government and the Labour 'opposition' have signed.

Drugs and Women in Prison

Helen Crewe | Posted 18.01.2016 | UK
Helen Crewe

Problem-solving courts The current Lord Chancellor, Michael Gove has announced that a team has been set up to investigate how to establish problem-so...

What We Did Right in Drug Policy During 2015

Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch | Posted 29.12.2015 | UK Politics
Kasia Malinowska-Sempruch

Real drug policy changes are possible. As we've seen this year, they often happen at the national level, and UNGASS will be an important moment to think about our collective approach to drugs and drug use, to challenge the prohibitionist regimes that undermine human rights, social justice, and public health. Reform-minded nations like the ones highlighted above can be leaders in that process.

It's Time to Loosen Up About Poppers

Benali Hamdache | Posted 10.11.2015 | UK Politics
Benali Hamdache

The ban on poppers is happening because no one has been talking about. It's time to shine a light. I'll admit I've had poppers and yes I did inhale. It did me no harm and countless others the same. It's time for a grown up drugs policy.

Richard Branson Leaks UN Report Calling For All Drugs To Be Decriminalised

The Huffington Post UK | Aubrey Allegretti | Posted 19.10.2015 | UK

The UN is expected to call on governments across the world to change tack in the 'war on drugs' by decriminalising all illegal substances. In a su...

Can the Truth About the War on Drugs Be Revealed in the Eyes of a Loving Pet?

Dr. Peter Ferentzy | Posted 19.10.2015 | UK
Dr. Peter Ferentzy

It was the early 1990s, and I was a young PhD candidate. At the time I didn't know too much about crack, though I did know that the place next door wa...

Parallel Universes Collide: Drug Control and Human Rights at the UN

Ann Fordham | Posted 05.10.2015 | UK
Ann Fordham

Next April's important UNGASS is an opportune moment to align these parallel universes and ensure that global drug policy genuinely has the promotion and protection of human rights at its centre. The devastating human rights violations committed in the name of drug control must end. We will be judged by history.

A Third of Us Will Have Tried Drugs in Two Years Time

Martin Preston | Posted 21.08.2015 | UK
Martin Preston

The nature of addiction means it's never possible to know if you'll become addicted before trying a substance. Nor is it simple to pinpoint the moment that a habit becomes an addiction. Taking the idea of 'illegal' drugs out of the equation might help you think more about what you're predisposed to - most people underestimate the dangers of alcohol as a drug, too.

An Ethical and Effective Global Drugs Policy Is at Last on the Horizon

Molly Meacher | Posted 19.08.2015 | UK Politics
Molly Meacher

The United Nations will have a Special Session on global drug policy next April and will begin discussions next month in New York. Our Guidance on Interpreting the Drug Conventions, published today, sets out an entirely new vision for global drug policy. The first step is to abandon the hopeless objective of creating a drug free world.

Punishment Will Never Solve Addiction

Lord Victor Adebowale | Posted 14.08.2015 | UK Politics
Lord Victor Adebowale

Yes, we must help people to help themselves. But we must also recognise that punishing people for their addictions isn't the way forward. If we use this draconian approach, then we are setting them up to fail.