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Feature Readers Respond

What readers thought about The BMJ’s call to legalise drugs

BMJ 2018; 361 doi: (Published 22 June 2018) Cite this as: BMJ 2018;361:k2664
  1. Birte Twisselmann, editorials and obituaries editor
  1. The BMJ
  1. btwisselmann{at}

The BMJ’s recent re-assertion for reform of laws prohibiting use of drugs like heroin and ecstasy generated much debate, as Birte Twisselmann writes

To reduce the harms associated with prohibition of illicit drugs like cannabis, cocaine, and methamphetamine, Fiona Godlee, The BMJ’s editor, recently called again for them to be “legalised, regulated, and taxed,” attracting much attention (

Of 16 responses on, four opposed reforms such as “decriminalisation,” which would remove criminal penalties for non-violent users of drugs for non-medical reasons, and “legalisation,” which would enable control of supply of drugs that currently are accessible on a criminal market—and of unknown content, purity, and strength. Portugal decriminalised all minor drug use in 2001; several US states and Uruguay have legal cannabis markets (

Other respondents tended to support legal reform …

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