Tag Archives: Drug Policy

The UK and the EU have a chance to stand up for drug policy reform


Nick Clegg made a big announcement on Thursday 1st October that has as yet gone unreported on LDV – he’s going on a jolly around Europe. Well no, not quite. He’s actually going on a tour of the EU to try to convince its leaders to stand together on the subject of international drug policy reform. Nothing like a challenge, eh Nick? But this is a serious issue, and at an absolutely crucial time. In April next year, the UN General Assembly will be holding a Special Session (UNGASS) to debate how to approach global drug policy over the next ten years and beyond, at a point where different parts of the world are diverging ever more rapidly on the issue of how to tackle the problems associated with drug use.

If the EU stands together united at UNGASS in calling for certain reforms to the UN conventions, and I sincerely hope Nick succeeds with his mission and it does, it has a much greater chance of making a positive impact. But what reforms can the EU agree to stand on? At one end countries like France and Sweden do not endorse any kind of change to their (relatively) strict drug laws, whereas countries like the Netherlands and Portugal have lead the way on liberal, evidence-based drug reforms for years. In the middle we have countries moving both ways too, with both Germany and Italy making noises about reforming their cannabis policies, Ireland voicing its support for drug decriminalisation and supervised injecting rooms and the the UK… well the less said about that the better. In fact, it has been noted that the EU can be seen as a near-perfect experiment for comparing the efficacy of a spectrum of subtly varied drug policies on relatively similar populations.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 49 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 1st Dec - 10:55am
    Merlene Emerson | Tue 1st December 2015 - 8:51 am Dual nationality is also an issue. The UK allows it. Therefore those taking up UK...
  • User AvatarDavid Pollard 1st Dec - 10:54am
    to Dave Orbison I would say read the Independent, Robert Fisk, James Cockburn, Jasmine Alibhi-Brown and Mark Steel.
  • User AvatarDavid Pollard 1st Dec - 10:51am
    Arguing about whether THREE British war planes should bomb Syria is Stupid. Listen to Corbyn. On this one he is right. Ask the questions:- Who...
  • User AvatarAndrew Hickey 1st Dec - 10:44am
    Joe, I think there's a simple consequentialist argument for inaction. As you say yourself, it is not definitely possible to say what the long-term consequences...
  • User AvatarThomas Shakespeare 1st Dec - 10:31am
    Hi David (again!) I would also add that members voted for coalition so if you think it was such a disaster (I don't) then surely...
  • User AvatarAndrew Hickey 1st Dec - 10:25am
    "Europeans and Commonwealth citizens being treated differently is of course historic" And then there are non-EU, non-Commonwealth immigrants, who don't get to vote at all....