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Ep9: Drugs policy – high time for reform?

Does the evidence actually support harsh new proposals to tackle drug use?
Alexandra Kimmons
06 Oct 2022

Most experts agree that decriminalisation of drug possession and more robust social policy are the answer to drug-related harms. In December 2021 the government published a 10-year plan to tackle drug-related crime in the UK, aiming to cut supply and improve treatment options. But a new white paper building on this plan promises harsher-than-ever sanctions for recreational drug use, contrary to all evidence around what works to address this issue.

In this episode, Rob and Penelope speak with Alex Stevens, Professor in Criminal Justice at the University of Kent, and Ian Birrell, journalist about the plans and ask whether the government is taking the right approach.

Professor Alex Stevens @AlexStevensKent
Find Alex’s work on drugs policy, including his excellent TEDx talk, here.

Ian Birrell @ianbirrell
See the full list of Ian’s writing on drugs here.

Further Resources
The government’s 10-year drugs plan here.
The government’s Swift, Certain, Tough white paper here.

The Transform Justice podcast is hosted by Penelope Gibbs and Rob Allen and produced and edited by Alexandra Kimmons. With thanks to Burges Salmon LLP for use of their space.