Submission for the Home Affairs Select Committee Inquiry Into Drugs

The Home Affairs Parliamentary Select Committee is launching an inquiry into whether the government’s current drugs strategy is a 'fiscally responsible policy with strategies grounded in science, health, security and human rights'. This committee is made up of backbench MPs and Lords who have an interest in drug policy.

We've made it easy for you to write up anything you want to tell the inquiry by providing the form below. This form is designed to help you respond to the inquiry. We've divided up the request from the committee into six sections, listed below, and provided guidance on what to write. If you fill it out and include your details, we'll send off your response to the Select Committee for you. The final date is 7th February, but we will close the form on the 5th February to ensure we have enough time to send them all off.

In addition to the individual submissions, the Re:Vision Drug Policy Network has submitted written evidence, written collaboratively by our volunteers. Thankyou to everyone who helped.

If you refer to something, such as an article, a study, etc, please include some kind of reference. This is a form for the submission of evidence, so it's important to make verifiable claims.

Your details

In order for us to make your submission, we need some of your personal details. When we send off your response, we will clearly label it as being from you and copy you into the email we send.

Response areas

Here are there six areas in which the Inquiry is requesting evidence. Please fill out as you wish. We have included guidance beneath each text box, which you may want to make use of.

Does the evidence support this policy as one which is likely to reach its aims? Is it effective? Is the government seeking high-quality independent advice? Here would be a good point to detail the issues you may have with the government’s lack of willingness to accept scientific evidence when setting policy, and how their current stance on drugs prevents useful research being done on the drugs in question.
How big a role should public health considerations play in drugs policy? How are alcohol and drug abuse linked? You could highlight the way that drug related health concerns are compounded under prohibition, as users are unable to be treated effectively whilst being criminalised.
What are the links between drugs, organised crime and terrorism? Here you might like to point out that the policy of prohibition creates many of the costs associated with drugs, such as acquisitive crime and the massive profits to be found in black market trading. It may be worth noting that wherever police or military intervention against the drug trade is escalated, more harms result in producer countries and drug use does not significantly change.
Is drug-related policing and expenditure likely to decrease in line with police budgets? What effects will this have? How cost-effective is it compared to other policies, in terms of reducing drug usage? You may wish to detail some financial statistics relating to drug related expenditure here - this could link in to the other areas of interest, including money spent on policing and imprisonment, and health care for those affected by drugs.
Does the government’s current drug policy respect human rights? You may find it useful to read information on the Human Rights Act from the EHRC, paying special note to article 8 (the right to privacy: “Everyone has the right for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.”) In what ways do you think current policy does not human rights? For example, in the (lack of) regulation of medicinal cannabis.
What is the availability of ‘legal highs’ and what challenges are associated with adapting the legal framework to deal with new substances? Should detailed consideration be given to alternative ways of tackling the drugs dilemma, as recommended by the Select Committee in 2002 (The Government's Drugs Policy: Is It Working?, HC 318, 2001–02) and the Justice Committee’s 2010 Report on justice reinvestment (Cutting crime: the case for justice reinvestment, HC 94, 2009–10)?