15 May Misuse Of Drugs Act “Not Fit For Purpose” According To UKDPC And Demos

This story is running today on BBC News and on Radio 5 Live.

CLEAR profoundly disagrees with the UK Drug Policy Commission (UKDPC) and Demos. The MoDA is progressive and extremely flexible legislation that provides an ideal framework for the regulation and control of all drugs, including the phenomenon of “legal highs”. Based on the advice of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), the principle is that drugs should be classified according to their relative harms and regulated accordingly.

The problem is the maladministration of the MoDA by successive governments since it was enacted in 1971. Instead of being used as a rational method of control for the reduction of harm, it is used as an instrument of prohibition, which provides no control at all and tends to maximise harms rather than reducing them.

Peter Reynolds, leader of CLEAR, said:

“The problem isn’t legislation. It’s the misuse of the Misuse of Drugs Act. If the Home Office would take responsibility, as it is supposed to, for controlling drugs and minimising harms based on the advice of the Advisory Council, then we would have far less drug related harm. Instead it clings to a discredited, unscientific and myopic policy of prohibition which actually causes far more harm than it prevents. For the last 40 years, British Home Secretaries have been directly responsible for maximising harm, misery, death and degradation because of their failure to admister the law properly.”