Canvassing for Opinion - aka "Blairs Brain on Cannabis"

IMHO prohibition sentiment requires inherent addiction to status quo, an incapacity to visualise beyond the here and now and a desperate desire to know others might feel the same... Reform is not revolutionary, rather it is evolutionary. Having survived banging your head against a brick wall the evolutionist relishes having stopped. / Blair

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Relevent to EACD, what do you think?

A bit more useful analysis on the practice and error(s) of drug classification. /Blair


Transform Drug Policy Foundation argue that the drug classification system:

• is based upon the false assumptions underlying historical prohibition of specific drugs rather than evidence of the efficacy of the classification system at reducing drug harms

• is not predicated on a framework that enables policy makers to make decisions about how to classify drugs - as no meaningful indicators exist to measure effectiveness

• is neither strategically planned nor effectively reviewed and evaluated against meaningful indicators

• is compartmentalised and not subject to cross departmental review

That government risk assessment regarding drugs is:

• inconsistent, frequently ignoring expert advice both internal and external

• driven by uninformed media coverage and non-scientific government disinformation based around the demonisation of illegal drugs rather than their inherent dangers.

That the Advisory Council's decision-making process is not transparent, is politically constrained, is ministerially determined, and has failed to advise on the most important policy issues.

That there is a distinct lack of publicly funded research in key policy areas because of the reticence of policy makers to expose policy failings.

That successive Governments have sought to hype the dangers of illicit drugs rather than communicate scientific advice effectively.

That the result of the above is a drug classification system that fails to deliver on its policy objectives and underpins a wider drug policy that increases drug harms rather than decreasing them.



Transform Drug Policy Foundation recommends that the Science and Technology Select committee:

Short term

• Call for an overhaul of the drug classification system in line with expert evidence.

• Call for ACMD [NZ's equivalent is the EACD] deliberations to be fully transparent, and all reports to be made public.

• Call for appropriate research to establish an evidence base for the classification system's effectiveness in reducing harm, including a set of meaningful indicators to be established against which such effectiveness can be measured.

Medium term

• Call for a cross departmental review of the efficacy of the enforcement of prohibition and penalties as defined by the classification system

• Call for a quadripartite select committee to review UK drug policy more broadly including a more detailed consideration of alternative policy options including shifting the drug brief from the Home Office to the Department of Health, and the possibility of legally regulated and controlled production and supply of some or all currently illegal drugs.

from TDF call for action:

Blair Anderson
ph (643) 389 4065
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