Academic? Scientist? Please Contribute to a Government Review of Drugs Policy (Jan 3rd Deadline)

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Submitting evidence
It has been announced that in the new year, Parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee will undertake an in-depth review of the Government’s national and international policies for tackling drugs. They are currently calling for written evidence from any individuals and organisations who wish to submit it. Submissions must specifically address the issues listed at the bottom of this page.

With the notable exception of the Liberal Democrat MP Dr Julian Huppert, (the only career scientist in Parliament and Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drug Policy Reform), the members of the Home Affairs Committee do not have scientific backgrounds.

In order that the scientific evidence is given the hearing it is due, ISCD members will be submitting scientific evidence pertinent to these policy questions. You can help by emailing us your views (info AT which we will summarise and compile into the ISCD submission, or if you prefer you can send your written evidence directly to the Home Affairs Select Committee.

If you intend to send us your views, please do so as soon as possible, and by 3 January, to allow us time to compile them. If you plan to submit directly to the Home Affairs Committee, you must do so by January the 10th.

Please read all of the guidance on what the Home Affairs Committee is looking for (click here). All submissions should specifically address the issues being considered.

If you send us evidence, please ensure that you do not send anything that you would not wish to be made public, as the Home Affairs Committee may publish it.

The issues to be Considered
• The extent to which the Government’s 2010 drug strategy is a ‘fiscally responsible policy with strategies grounded in science, health, security and human rights’ in line with the recent recommendation by the Global Commission on Drug Policy

• The criteria used by the Government to measure the efficacy of its drug policies

• The independence and quality of expert advice which is being given to the government

• Whether drug-related policing and expenditure is likely to decrease in line with police budgets and what impact this may have

• The cost effectiveness of different policies to reduce drug usage

• The extent to which public health considerations should play a leading role in developing drugs policy

• The relationship between drug and alcohol abuse

• The comparative harm and cost of legal and illegal drugs

• The impact of the transfer of functions of the National Treatment Agency for Substance Misuse to Public Health England and how this will affect the provision of treatment

• The availability of ‘legal highs’ and the challenges associated with adapting the legal framework to deal with new substances

• The links between drugs, organised crime and terrorism

• Whether the UK is supporting its global partners effectively and what changes may occur with the introduction of the national crime agency

• Whether detailed consideration ought to be given to alternative ways of tackling the drugs dilemma, as recommended by the Select Committee in 2002 (The Government’s Drugs Policy: Is It Working?, HC 318, 2001–02) and the Justice Committee’s 2010 Report on justice reinvestment (Cutting crime: the case for justice reinvestment, HC 94, 2009–10).”


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