Review of international drugs policies is unlikely to change UK stance on criminality

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 31 October 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g6574
  1. Zosia Kmietowicz
  1. 1The BMJ

A study of how other countries approach drug misuse and addiction is unlikely to lead to any change in drug policy in the United Kingdom, despite the study’s finding that tougher criminal sentences for drug misuse did not reduce levels of use, the government has said.

The study was commissioned by the coalition government to appease MPs on the Home Affairs Select Committee, who in a 2012 report called for a royal commission to rethink the UK approach to drugs. Evidence for the study was gathered from 11 countries that have introduced various approaches to try to reduce the effects of drug misuse on society, the judicial system, and health.1

The study dismissed most of the approaches it observed as being inappropriate for the UK or incompatible …

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