50 years of failure in UK drug policy must stop

The 50 one year outmoded UK Misuse of Treatment Act, which supplies the principle rules for our drug rules, has failed to diminish illicit drug offer, use, and harms and used to be designed, and is soundless mature, as a instrument of systemic racism, argues Lord Simon Woolley in The BMJ nowadays.

He outlines the screw ups of UK policy, particularly in dusky communities, and calls on the medical career to toughen a root and branch review of the law to take into sage different approaches.

UK drug policy is a huge quantity, he writes. As the most standard just review by Professor Dame Carol Sad showed, the UK’s consumption of illegal medication is rising all the absolute best plot via all sectors of society, our medications system is shut to give plot, and our drug associated death rate is surely one of the most supreme in Europe.

Unique drug policy fails all individuals, but it no doubt fails dusky communities in particular, he explains. Files relate that despite reporting higher rates of drug consumption, are more susceptible to be stopped and searched for suspected drug possession, and are more susceptible to be arrested, charged, and imprisoned for drug offences.

All this issues as an pickle of social justice and of , says Woolley. “It creates terror, stress, and alienation that make contributions to the excessive ranges of psychological health injure experienced all the absolute best plot via our dusky communities.”

And he argues that each one this wants to stop. “For decades, politicians from every side bear either turned a blind test to drug policy screw ups or weaponised the controversy to rating cheap political parts. This has led to half of a century of stagnation, which has landed with power on our , using up needless criminalisation and undermining relationships with the police.”

Any individual drawn to effective drug policy, or within the effective reduction of drug associated harms, must be calling for a root and branch review, he says.

He, along with practically 60 of his fellow parliamentarians, bear recently signed a commentary to that stay, and he calls on medical and public health communities to full the identical.

“This type of review must provide a comprehensive, just evaluation of the results of the Misuse of Treatment Act and its fitness for cause 50 years on,” he writes. “It must also take into sage intimately the suggestions for different approaches, along side the rising body of evidence indicating assist in each decriminalisation of alternative folk that expend medication and factual law of non-medical drug affords worldwide.”

“We now bear a rising literature on what works and what causes injure in drug policy—along side how one can tackle racial inequalities—which must relate policy makers,” he explains. “We now want to atrocious policy on the evidence, no longer grief and political inertia. We want a mature, informed, and delivery debate on this subject, and now we want to be ready to discuss all suggestions if we’re to resolve the most standard disaster.”

Sad voices, supported by others all the absolute best plot via society, must be listened to, he provides, and he calls on the to be more vocal in discussing the extent to which drug policy impacts the health and wellbeing of dusky other folk.

“Whatever our views on how we are able to stop drug higher, with out a famous delivery and grownup dialogue—and with out the important thing medical bodies actively supporting that debate—we are able to face more decades of stagnation and failure,” he concludes.

Extra records:
Our drug rules are racist, and medical doctors must snort out – an essay by Simon Woolley, The BMJ, DOI: 10.1136/bmj.n2147

50 years of failure in UK drug policy must stop (2021, September 29)
retrieved 30 September 2021

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