Do you think the UK drug policy should be reviewed?

Today the government is debating if they should conduct an independent cost-benefit analysis and impact assessment of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

The UK government spend over £3 billion a year in an attempt to eradicate drug use. Current drug laws are over 40 years old and there hasn’t been a government assessment about if they are effective or offer value for money during this time.

Blenheim want a drug policy that helps people that use drugs and agree that the government should review the effectiveness of the current policy. Our drugs laws should reflect the latest evidence about how best to tackle drugs misuse and any associated social problems.

There were 2,000 drug related deaths in England and Wales in 2013 and 32% increase in heroin/morphine deaths. These figures are unacceptable and something needs to change to reverse these statistics.

In June this year Blenheim joined 80 high profile individuals and organisations calling on the Prime Minister to Reform UK Drug policy and move to an approach that reduces the ‘harms caused by drugs and current drug policies’. The letter highlighted that in the past 15 years well over 1.5 million people had been criminalised in the UK for drug possession.

There is a lot of support for this review including 76% of MPs agree the process of making policy about illegal drugs should make more use of evidence and research then it currently does.

Sir Ian Gilmore, former President of the Royal College of Physicians: “Everyone who has looked at [the drugs issue] in a serious and sustained way concludes that the present policy of prohibition is not a success. I personally back the chairman of the UK Bar Council, Nicholas Green QC, when he calls for drug laws to be reconsidered with a view to decriminalising illicit drugs use. This could drastically reduce crime and improve health.”

The Sun newspaper, August 2014 editorial: “Two years ago the PM rejected calls for a Royal Commission on drugs policy. It’s time for a rethink.”

You can read more about the Talking Drugs campaign here.

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