Reform debate – drugs

Black Sheep: An Investigation into Existing Support for Problematic Cannabis Use, 2017, (PDF)
Cannabis is a neglected drug in public health discourses, a reality which is at odds with the growing number of people in England who are now seeking support for problematic cannabis use. The disparity of how cannabis is prioritised by drug and alcohol service providers, wider community services, local authority commissioners and public health bodies has limited the amount of support available and impeded quality | Volte Face, UK

An Introduction to the Tide Effect, 2016
The people of California have just voted to legalise cannabis – a decision which will have immense repercussions both in America and around the world, while efforts are already underway in Canada to legally regulate the cannabis market. The Tide Effect argues strongly that the UK should follow suit, and that the legalisation of cannabis here is both overdue and imperative | Volte Face, UK

Access to medicinal cannabis: meeting patient needs, 2016, (PDF)
The APPG have convened the most in-depth parliamentary inquiry into the use of medicinal cannabis ever undertaken. Alongside their inquiry, the APPG commissioned the most extensive review of evidence in the literature in modern times | APPG, UK

Taking a new line on drugs, 2016, (PDF)
‘Taking a New Line on Drugs’ assesses the situation in the UK as regards rising health harm from illegal drugs, with reference to their context within the wider ‘drugscape’ of legal drugs such as alcohol and tobacco, and sets out a new vision for a holistic public health-led approach to drugs policy at a UK-wide level [Press release here]  | RSPH and FPH, UK

Roadmaps to regulation: New Psychoactive Substances, 2016 (PDF)
This report aims to bring together the best available evidence on the regulation of psychoactive drugs in a rigorous, yet accessible way. In part, it is an invitation to think differently about drug policy options | Beckley Foundation, UK

Cannabis Regulation and the UN Drug Treaties: Strategies for Reform, 2016
As jurisdictions enact reforms creating legal access to cannabis for purposes other than exclusively “medical and scientific,” tensions surrounding the existing UN drug treaties and evolving law and practice in Member States continue to grow. How might governments and the UN system address these growing tensions in ways that acknowledge the policy shifts underway and help to modernize the drug treaty regime itself, and thereby reinforce the UN pillars of human rights, development, peace and security, and the rule of law? | Transform et al, International

Do no harm – Health, human rights and people who use drugs, 2016
Evidence supports the need for a shift in the global approach to drug use. In this report, Do no harm: health, human rights and people who use drugs, UNAIDS shows what works to reduce the impact of HIV and other harms related to drug use. Countries that have moved away from laws and policies that are harmful to people who use drugs and that have increased investment in harm reduction have reduced new HIV infections and improved health outcomes. These policies also deliver broader social benefits, such as lower levels of drug-related crime and reduced pressure on health-care and criminal justice systems | UNAIDS, Switzerland

Cannabis Regulation and the UN Drug Treaties: Strategies for Reform, 2016
As jurisdictions enact reforms creating legal access to cannabis for purposes other than exclusively “medical and scientific,” tensions surrounding the existing UN drug treaties and evolving law and practice in Member States continue to grow. How might governments and the UN system address these growing tensions in ways that acknowledge the policy shifts underway and help to modernize the drug treaty regime itself, and thereby reinforce the UN pillars of human rights, development, peace and security, and the rule of law? | Transform, WOLA, TNI et al, International

A Quiet Revolution: Drug Decriminalisation Across the Globe: 2nd edition, 2016
This edition builds on the 2012 publication, providing updates on the jurisdictions originally covered and highlighting a number of new countries that have adopted a non-criminal justice response to the possession of drugs for personal use | Release, UK

A regulated cannabis market for the UK, 2016
The most comprehensive framework for how a regulated cannabis market could work in the UK has been published today by an independent panel of experts set up by the Liberal Democrats. This report sets out how the legal production and supply of cannabis could work in the UK. It was established in the autumn by Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Norman Lamb MP. The expert panel was chaired by Steve Rolles, Senior Policy Analyst from Transform Drug Policy Foundation | Liberal Democrats, UK

After the Drug Wars, 2016 (PDF)
In this report the Expert Group on Economics of Drug Policy set out a framework for the future of international drug policy based on Sustainable Development Goals | LSE, UK

Drug Crop Production, Poverty, and Development, 2016, (PDF)
As member states of the United Nations take stock of the drug control system, a number of debates have emerged among governments about how to balance international drug laws with human rights, public health, alternatives to incarceration, and experimentation with regulation. This series intends to provide a primer on why governments must not turn a blind eye to pressing human rights and public health impacts of current drug policies | Open Society Foundations, USA

The UN drug control conventions – a primer, 2015 (PDF)
There are three United Nations treaties that together form the international law framework of the global drug control regime: the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, 1961, as amended by the 1972 Protocol; the Convention on Psychotropic Substances, 1971, and the Convention Against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, 1988 | Transnational Institute, USA

Drugs and illicit practices – assessing their impact on development and governance, 2015 (PDF)
In a new, much-needed investigation, Christian Aid has begun to expose a major blind spot in development thinking, an area that has so far been hidden from view: the impact of the illicit economy on poverty eradication. In-depth case studies from four of the countries at the heart of the illicit drugs trade – Afghanistan, Colombia, Mali and Tajikistan – show how the illicit drugs trade is shaping the economies, governance, and social fabric of entire nations. This synthesis report explains the urgent need for this analysis, sets out the case studies’ main findings, raises the questions we need to start grappling with, and begins the search for solutions | Christian Aid, UK

What comes after the War on Drugs – flexibility, fragmentation or principled pluralism?, 2015  (PDF)
The Policy Report explores how four key issues will likely play out at UNGASS 2016 – penal policy, public health, development, and human rights – and identifies five areas of potential common ground that could set the stage for a discussion based on principled pluralism | United Nations University, USA

Drug Policy Reform in Latin America: Discourse and Reality, 2015 (PDF)
This brief shows how current drug policies have been questioned within Latin America and analyzes the reforms undertaken in recent years; however, these initiatives have not yet changed the strategy of continuing to use criminal law as the main state response to address drugrelated issues. The research done by CEDD indicates that the emphasis on a punitive approach keeps sending more and more people to prison for drug offenses, and they tend to represent a significant proportion of the overall penitentiary population | CEDD, Various

The Impact of Drug Policy on the Environment, 2015 (PDF)
As member states of the United Nations take stock of the drug control system, a number of debates have emerged among governments about how to balance international drug laws with human rights, public health, alternatives to incarceration, and experimentation with regulation. This series intends to provide a primer on why governments must not turn a blind eye to pressing human rights and public health impacts of current drug policies | Open Society Foundations, USA

Drug report,  2014 (PDF)
Document prepared by the General Secretariat for the Special General Assembly of the Organization of American States (OAS) “Toward a Hemispheric Drug Policy for the Twenty-First Century | Organisation of American States, USA

Drug policy guide, 2012 (PDF)
The International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) Drug Policy Guide (the Guide) brings together global evidence and examples of best practice to provide guidance on the review, design and implementation of drug policies. The Guide is targeted at national government policy makers and civil society organisations involved in the development or review of local or national drug strategies | IDPC, UK