A new drug policy body with responsibility for collecting and sharing evidence should be established in order to ‘improve drug policy knowledge and evaluation’, according to a report from the UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC).
Policy will not improve until there is a fundamental change in the way it is made, says How to make drug policy better, with a current ‘fundamental lack of evaluation’ of both existing and alternative policies. The high turnover of drugs ministers and lack of leadership are also having a negative impact, states the report, which is based on an 18-month study that included interviews with ministers, senior civil servants and former home secretaries.
‘Reviews of the UK’s drug policies all come to similar conclusions, but we lack the political will to act on them,’ said lead UKDPC commissioner for the research Tracey Brown. ‘We need the party leaders to work together to take the heat out of the debate. They may not agree on everything, but they should be able to agree to improve the way we use evidence – so we know our policies are working as best they can.’
Report at www.ukdpc.org.uk
The UKDPC formally finished its work at the end of December 2012. Roger Howard looks back on page 12