Advisory Panel

Alex Wilks 

Alex is a Campaign Director at Avaaz, a worldwide movement of 38 million citizens bringing their voices to key decisions – from climate change to drugs policy. Previously he directed the European Network on Debt and Development in Brussels and the Bretton Woods Project to keep tabs on the World Bank and IMF. He's also worked for The Ecologist magazine and has a degree from Oxford University.


David Seymour

Former political editor of the Mirror Group, he has also worked for the Daily Mail. David still writes political commentary. Three years ago he produced a guide for journalists on reporting poverty in the UK, funded by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation. He has edited a report produced by UKDPC entitled 'Dealing with the stigma of Drugs: A guide for journalists'.


Mike Jay

Mike Jay is an author and curator who has written widely on the history of science and medicine, specialising in the mind, drugs and mental health. He has written several books on the history of drugs including Emperors of Dreams: drugs in the nineteenth century and High Society: mind-altering drugs in history and culture, which accompanied the exhibition he curated with Wellcome Collection in London. He writes regularly for the London Review of Books and the Wall Street Journal, and sits on the editorial board of Drugs and Alcohol Today.

Henry Warren

Henry is a social entrepreneur who specialises in using IT and innovation to tackle social problems. He was previously the founder of (now part of Taking It Global) and the Head of Innovation at GEMS. He currently owns a charity fundraising company (Foolish Fundraising), an education technology company ( and is a consultant to a variety of companies on innovation and product development.

Paul Birch

Paul is an Internet Entrepreneur in both pro-profit (Bebo) and pro-social focused services. His most recent ventures are, which covers all-party activity in the UK Parliament, and the nascent

Julia Buxton

Julia is Professor of Comparative Politics in the School of Public Policy at the Central European University, Budapest. She researches on narcotic drug markets, with a specific focus on the inter-relationship between illicit drug economies, conflict, peacebuilding, and economic and democratic transitions. She has a particular interest in the impacts of counter narcotics strategies on gender, social justice and development. Her drug related publications include The Political Economy of Narcotics (Zed, 2006), the edited collection The Politics of Narcotic Drugs (Europa 2010), ‘Opportunity Lost: Alternative Development in Drug Control’ in J. Tokatlian (ed) Old Wars: New Thinking, (Libros Zorazal, 2010); ‘A History of Drug Control’ in P. Keefer and N. Loayza (eds) Innocent Bystanders, (World Bank Publications, 2010) and ‘The UK drug problem in global perspective’, Soundings, Issue 42, Summer 2009.


James Varty

James has worked in the substance misuse treatment field for both statutory and non-statutory agencies over the past 15 years. When working with service users early on in his career, James recognised that drugs themselves were not the cause of drug harms; rather it was the lack of regulation and irrational drug legislation that was responsible for ruining countless lives. James has a BHSc (Hons) in Addictions from Leeds University. Currently residing in rural Wales, James is Head of Development and Quality for Kaleidoscope, a substance misuse treatment agency providing residential and community services to people with substance misuse problems across the UK.


Keith Morris

Keith became a public campaigner for the reform of the UN drugs conventions as a result of his experience as British Ambassador to Colombia from 1990 to 1994. His mission's top priority was cooperation with the Colombian government on counternarcotics and he saw the dramatic impact of Pablo Escobar's narcoterrorism close up. He concluded that the War on Drugs was failing and at an intolerable cost. Everything that has happened since in Afghanistan and Mexico, to name just the two hottest spots, has strengthened his conviction. He has made his views known in articles, letters to the editor and talks since 2000.