Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 - Impact Assessment
Drug related harms and the costs to society remain high in Britain, with a growing consensus that the current enforcement led approach is not working. In recent months the independent UK Drugs Policy Commission has highlighted the fact that Government is spending around £3 billion a year on a policy that is often self-defeating; and the Home Affairs Select Committee has concluded Government action is needed "now, more than ever" to consider all the alternatives to our failing drug laws and learn from countries that have adopted a more evidence based approach. We are concerned that, in this age of austerity, nobody is checking whether Britain's current approach is value for money - or money wasted. We therefore call on the Government to commission an authoritative and independent cost-benefit analysis and impact assessment of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 within the next 12 months, in order to provide the evidence for Parliament to pursue a more effective drugs policy in the future.
Government responseAs this e-petition has received more than 10 000 signatures, the relevant Government department have provided the following response:
The Government has reviewed a range of reports including that produced by the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC), which the Government considered in detail. We welcomed the valuable contribution the HASC report makes to policy development and noted the positive responses in a number of areas.
The level of acquisitive drug related crime and the need for a radical change in the way we tackle drug use and misuse is why the Government is implementing the most ambitious drug strategy to date with the ‘building recovery: supporting people to live a drug-free life' strand at its heart. As the Government noted in its response (www.official-documents.gov.uk/document/cm85/856...) to the HASC report, there are positive signs that our approach is working.
We are however not complacent. We will continue to listen and learn from emerging trends, new evidence and international comparators to inform policy development.
This e-petition remains open to signatures and will be considered for debate by the Backbench Business Committee should it pass the 100 000 signature threshold.
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Currently ranked 38 out of 96,623 petitions ever created.
Caroline Lucas MP
Thursday 14 February 2013
Saturday 15 February 2014