In partnership with Transform Drugs

Managing the production, supply and use of illicit drugs is one of the most pressing issues facing global policymakers. Despite a continued commitment to the enforcement of prohibition in most of the world, drug markets continue to expand and countries are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of drug-related deaths. At the same time, the violence associated with the illicit drugs trade has continued to grow, with devastating consequences for some of the most vulnerable communities on the planet. 

This consultation bought together a range of international, cross-disciplinary experts to consider the ‘what ifs’ of a post-legalisation landscape. It did not dwell on the arguments for and against legal regulation, but rather considered the challenges and opportunities as reform becomes more widespread. They were seeking the broadest possible range of views, and consideration of the widest range of  actors. They want to move beyond some of the familiar debates about individual rights or the ineffectiveness of current policy to ask what we would need to be prepared for as policy changes. How might it affect the economy? How might we assess benefits and harm? How might we protect vulnerable communities in the developing world? How can we ensure policy protects public health?

The discussion opened the space for a fruitful and constructive exchange of views about the realities of promoting health and social justice in a world where drugs were legally regulated. By doing so, they hope to better inform the current debate on drug policy and ensure that, as things move forward, all the key issues are taken into consideration.