UK

Judging by its contribution to the UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs, the UK has a long way to go if it's to catch up with progressive reform countries like Canada.
The Liberal Democrats have released the report of the expert panel they set up to look into the issue cannabis regulation.
The Home Affairs Select Committee has today released a report criticising the government for the way it is introducing its legislation on new psychoactive substances (so-called "legal highs"), and for its failure to look at evidence from other countries that have tried blanket bans like the one being implemented in the UK.
The issue of cannabis law reform dominated the news yesterday. The Liberal Democrats kicked off the day by announcing that they will set up an expert panel to look into how a legally regulated cannabis market could work in the UK.
As reported yesterday, the Treasury has produced a detailed cost-benefit analysis of establishing a legally regulated cannabis market in the UK. The report is largely based on existing research (PDF) carried out by the Beckley Foundation and the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex and the, but updates and critiques some of that analysis.
On Monday 12 October, at 4.30pm, MPs will debate the legalisation of cannabis in Westminster Hall. The debate results from an e-petition that garnered more than 220,000 signatures.
When I found out about the new #CrushDabWait campaign launched last week I felt relieved that common sense was finally prevailing. My only wish is that this campaign had existed 23 months ago before I lost my only child to an accidental ecstasy overdose.

All the main UK political parties have now published their manifestos, setting out their stalls ahead of the general election on 7 May. Here are their positions on drug policy.

If drug use is going down, then isn’t this proof that our approach to drugs is working? It seems at first glance like a reasonable assumption to make. The Prime Minister certainly thought it was a plausible counter-argument to the widespread calls for decriminalisation witnessed last week.
The long-delayed report released today by the Home Office highlights how its own approach to drugs is not based on evidence. In particular, the report – which looks at the effectiveness of other countries’ drug policies – concludes that harsh penalties for drug users have no effect on levels of drug use.

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