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
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  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 25th Sep - 2:34am
    Thanks Little Jackie. Cameron got some a concession on free movement - there are ways to twist arms if we are imaginative. We could even...
  • User AvatarStevan Rose 25th Sep - 1:33am
    @Dennis Loretta. Thanks for making that point. How many people out if the 75,000 members and 2.4 million voters were at the conference? 2,000 /...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 25th Sep - 1:12am
    Eddie Sammon - I think you are spot on right. But... 1 - The EU institutions can think and say what they want. There are...
  • User Avatarmalc 25th Sep - 12:53am
    Simon Shaw "It’s only when we get close to the next GE that they’ll really let rip with 30 years of facts with which to...
  • User AvatarDenis Loretto 25th Sep - 12:36am
    Was Stevan Rose at the conference? Surely he knows that the Lib Dems are the only party democratically deciding or endorsing policy - definitely not...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 25th Sep - 12:17am
    We need soft brexit with a concession on free-movement. This is what is pushing people towards hard brexit - they think a concession without serious...