As many of you know, the Home Affairs Parliamentary Select Committee is currently holding an inquiry in the state of UK drug laws. As part of the Written Evidence stage, the Re:Vision Drug Policy Network submitted a memorandum that we are now allowed to release for everyone else to view as well.
We responded in each of the categories that the Committee suggested were areas of inquiry: the scientific evidence, the effects of drug laws on public health, human rights, and proposed alternatives. Our focus in the memorandum was on putting forward unapologetic arguments for the total repeal of Prohibition and the compelling and overwhelming evidence that the current regime harms, rather than promotes, science, public health, human rights. We further argued that the government should have no interest in non-problematic private drug use (for example, we don’t send the police to break down the doors of private homes on the basis of tip-offs that people have been drinking alcohol with our friends – but we do have officers in most Local Authorities on call to deal with noisy and antisocial neighbours). We concluded by putting forward the Transform Drug Policy Foundation’s Blueprint for Reform as a model for a drug which policy might be more appropriate.
Essentially, we don’t believe that we are advocating policies, approaches, or models that don’t already exist in some form. We already regulate the food we consume, the medicines we use, the and the behaviour of inconsiderate or violent people. Our current drug policy is actually the *exception* in history, and Re:Vision’s stance is the historical norm. In no other area of public policy does our government continue to wage a futile campaign opposed by most professionals in the field which has such a counter-productive effect on its stated aims. Sometimes, when we’re writing these things, we just can’t quite believe that the Home Office still maintains that people will be safer in a world where the many of the drugs they or their loved ones use are produced by organised criminals, mixed with contaminants by unregulated vendors, and sold in dangerous places made more dangerous by a cat and mouse game with the police that can never end by its very nature. We hope that you agree (if you don’t, you may find this helpful).
This was the first policy submission that we wrote by inviting individual members of Re:Vision to contribute to different sections, and the results we think are an accurate representation of the opinions of many young people in the UK on drug policy. We hope that the Committee Inquiry will subsequently benefit!
You can read our submission here.