Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Controlling illegal stimulants: a regulated market model

A very useful discussion of the principles and practical considerations around how stimulants might be regulated in the post-prohibition era has appeared in the latest Harm Reduction Journal (published 23 Jan 08)which is, brilliantly, open access, and available as a pdf.

The paper, titled 'Controlling illegal stimulants: a regulated market model' is by Mark Haden, a public health specialist based in Vancouver, and member of the Health Officers of British Colombia that produced the groundbreaking report 'A public health approach to drug control' in 2005 (that has been very influential in the development of Transform's recent work and various current projects).

The Harm Reduction Journal website invites reader responses, as of course does this blog, in the comments section below.

This is the abstract:

Prohibition of illegal drugs is a failed social policy and new models of regulation of these substances are needed. This paper explores a proposal for a post-prohibition, public health based model for the regulation of the most problematic drugs, the smokable and injectable stimulants. The literature on stimulant maintenance is explored. Seven foundational principles are suggested that could support this regulatory model of drug control that would reduce both health and social problems related to illegal stimulants. Some details of this model are examined and the paper concludes that drug policies need to be subject to research and based on evidence.

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