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11 items
  1. Drug laws and bans on legal highs 'do more harm than good'

    14 May 2011
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    The UK's "outdated" drug laws could be doing more harm than good and are failing to recognise that banning some "legal highs" may have negative consequences for public health, according to the leading independent panel set up to analyse drugs policy. On the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Misuse of Drugs Act, the UK Drug Policy Commission warns that the exponential rise in "legal highs" and the availability of substances over the internet is making current laws redundant.

  2. injection

    Doctors say UK drug policy should focus more on health

    15 January 2013
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    Although illicit drug use has been declining in the UK, long-term problem drug use and drug-related deaths are not decreasing, says the British Medical Association. Its Board of Science says evidence shows the current prohibitive approach to drug use is not working. It says doctors should inform drugs policy to put patients' needs first.

  3. cameron

    The 1971 Misuse of Drugs act was the stupidest and most ineffective ever passed

    Simon Jenkins
    14 January 2013
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    Yet another parliamentary group has pronounced in favour of drugs decriminalisation. It still won’t happen. What is baffling is the intransigence of British politicians on the subject. Plenty are individually reasonable. Some three-quarters of MPs agree individually. They read the surveys, reports and opinion polls — all unanswerable. Yet the mere mention of the subject sends most politicians screaming down the road with bags over their heads.

  4. david-nutt

    Drugs legislation is hampering clinical research, warns David Nutt

    03 November 2013
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    The UK's drug laws are preventing scientists from carrying out vital research to unlock our understanding of the brain and find new treatments for conditions such as depression and Parkinson's disease, according to Professor David Nutt, a leading neuroscientist and former government drug adviser. "Things are actually getting worse," said Nutt, referring to the restrictions placed on research.

  5. Banning Khat is another pointless drug law that will do more harm than good

    24 June 2014
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    Today, khat joined the range of prohibited substances that fall under the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971. Those who distribute this Class C drug can now face 14 years imprisonment – the same maximum sentence that applies to individuals who cause death by dangerous driving, and four years more than the maximum penalty for sexual assault. So what exactly is khat, and why has it attracted such harsh legislation? (See also: Khat: Update - Ban to be implemented on the 24th of June)

  6. Qat ban: UK police officers told to use their discretion in enforcement

    22 June 2014
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    Police have been officially advised to use their discretion in deciding how to enforce the ban on qat, a mild herbal stimulant, that has been widely used in Britain's Somali, Yemeni and Ethiopian communities. Official guidelines from the Association of Chief Police Officers tells constables that in applying a "three strikes" enforcement policy they should take into account that qat has "historically not been a controlled drug and was part of the culture of certain communities linked to the Horn of Africa." (See also: Stimulant khat banned as illegal class C drug in UK)

  7. The war on drugs killed my daughter

    21 June 2014
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    Martha Fernback, 15, died from taking 91% pure ecstasy. The response of her mother, Anne-Marie Cockburn was unusual. She refused to blame her daughter, her friends, or the dealer or the manufacturer. Cockburn, a single mother, focused on a greater target: the government. "It quickly became obvious that prohibition had had its chance but failed," she said. "Martha is a sacrificial lamb under prohibition. The question is: how many more Marthas have to die before we change our approach? It's not acceptable to allow the risks to remain."

  8. Khat and mouse

    28 June 2014
    Other news

    On June 24, 2014, the sale of khat was prohibited in Britain, almost a year after home secretary Theresa May told the House of Commons that she intended to ban it. The government argues that since the leaf has been banned elsewhere, Britain risks turning into a distribution point if it remains legal; that khat is a dangerous intoxicant that harms its users and that the “marfashes” where men go to chew are breeding radicalism. Both the government’s advisory council on the misuse of drugs and the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee advised against the crackdown.

  9. Prohibition is not working: the case for sanity in the war on drugs

    29 October 2014
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    The House of Commons will today debate whether to rethink the war on drugs. While it is only a backbench business debate, and is therefore not binding, it still represents a step towards reviewing the UK’s drug laws. There is a simple reason why the UK’s drug policy is so expensive and ineffective: the law is so old. Policy is still dictated by the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, signed into law shortly after the 1971 UN Convention on Drugs. In 43 years since, the approach has failed catastrophically.

  10. Superman ‘ecstasy’ pill deaths are result of ‘illogical and punitive drugs policy’

    05 January 2015
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    The deaths of four men who had taken pills they thought were ecstasy are the result of the government’s "illogical and punitive drug policy", says Dr David Nutt, who was sacked as the government’s senior drugs adviser in 2009 after criticising its decision to toughen the law on cannabis. He argues that current policy had targeted the production and sale of MDMA only to see it substituted by a more toxic substance.

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    Lucha antidrogas, “fracaso miserable”, dice vicepremier británico

    03 March 2015
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    El viceprimer ministro británico, el liberal Nick Clegg, y el magnate Richard Branson tildaron la guerra contra las drogas de “fracaso miserable”, en plena visita a Londres del presidente Enrique Peña Nieto. Branson, propietario de Virgin, y Clegg, líder del partido minoritario de la coalición, publicaron un artículo en The Guardian condenando la estrategia de choque frontal y pusieron como ejemplo la situación que ha creado en México. “Bajo cualquier punto de vista, la guerra mundial contra las drogas ha sido un fracaso miserable”, escribieron.