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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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDaniel 25th Aug - 3:53pm
    I think all working groups, when writing their policy paper, should publish the survey responses, that is the % support for various options. Any group...
  • User AvatarAndrew George 25th Aug - 3:36pm
    Oh dear... I see my words have been mangled... my previous comments in SUPPORT of Mat McCarthy's original remarks about the irrational belligerence (am I...
  • User AvatarJenny Barnes 25th Aug - 3:26pm
    Budget neutral? Why? We're around zero interest rates, thinking about negative. What does that tell you? It tells me that it makes sense to invest...
  • User AvatarMike Turner 25th Aug - 3:17pm
    During my long business lifetime I have seen vastly too many good initiatives wrecked, usually by simple incompetence in their implementation (only occasionally by deliberate...
  • User AvatarCiaran McGonagle 25th Aug - 3:00pm
    I agree that the result is technically advisory. The difficulty however is that it is government policy to (somehow) enact the result. Parliament (and not...
  • User AvatarMatt (Bristol) 25th Aug - 2:56pm
    I read this whole thing as a sign of how internally traumatised we still are by coalition, and still torn between those who want us...