Intended for healthcare professionals

The war on drugs

Prohibition laws—which criminalise the production, supply, possession, and use of some drugs for non-medical purposes—cost at least $100bn annually but have failed to curb either supply or demand, reduce addiction, or minimise harm. The war on drugs has failed and The BMJ says it's time for doctors "to lead calls for pragmatic reform informed by science and ethics."

For more on The BMJ's work on drug policy, watch this interview with Richard Hurley, our features and debates editor.


Read our package of articles on the opioid crisis in the US:

Read more in our recent series of articles:

From the archive: