Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas comes early for gangsters as three more drugs are criminalised

Three drugs were prohibited yesterday; a synthetic cannabinoid often sold as ‘spice’, the synthetic stimulant benzylpiperazine or BZP, and the synthetic sedative gammabutyrolactone or GBL which also happens to be an industrial solvent. All have been brought within the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, GBL and BZP becoming class C drugs (subject to penalties of up to 2 years prison for possession or 14 years in prison for supply) whilst ‘Spice’ becomes a Class B (subject to up to 5 years in prison for possession or 14 years for supply).

legal yesterday, up to 5 years in prison for possession today

There’s a lot one could say about this move, but first it should be made clear that these drugs are clearly not without risks and there is no reason to argue with the harm assessments of them presented by the ACMD to the Government that informed the decisions (although the B decision for spice is distorted by the recent cannabis politics more than relative harm rankings). Legal status does not imply safety and never has, the 'legal highs' alcohol and tobacco highlighting this point very clearly.

However, what can be disputed is whether the move will have any positive impacts. In reality there are three likely outcomes – all of which reflect the fact that changes in legislation do not impact on overall demand for the intoxication/experiences these drugs provide:

  1. Users of these formerly ‘legal highs’ will revert to the ‘illegal highs‘ that spice etc provided an alternative or substitute for. So we can reasonably expect a rise in cannabis use (instead of spice) as well as stimulants, including ecstasy, cocaine and amphetamines (instead of BZP and GBL). Whether this substitution has a positive or negative impact on risks and overall health harms is not clear, but the young people involved will certainly face increased risk both from interacting with an illegal market controlled by criminals, and from the law itself: the real risk of a criminal record or spell in prison. Criminal suppliers will be the obvious beneficiaries.

  2. Some users of these formerly ‘legal highs’, assuming they are preferred to the illegal alternatives, will continue to use them but now obtain them by via illegal sources that will inevitably emerge to meet any remaining demand if the profit opportunity presents itself. It is hard to gauge to what degree this will occur (probably not at all with spice/cannabis but reasonably likely to some extent with BZP/GBL), and it is worth noting that the use of ketamine has increased since 2006 when it was prohibited and its status changed from ‘legal high’ to ‘controlled drug’. Again criminal suppliers are the obvious beneficiaries, not young people, who in this case are indisputably worse off.

  3. A void will be created in the market that will be potentially filled by new drugs brought to market by the same back street chemists and largely unregulated business interests responsible for bringing us GBL, BZP, Spice etc. Of course it is the absence of legal regulated supply of cannabis, ecstasy etc. that created the market opportunity for these (formerly) 'legal highs' to emerge in the first place, and this latest ban will just repeat the dynamic. The inevitable next generation of ‘legal highs’ (including mephedrone for example) may or may not be less risky than their predecessors and we will certainly know even less about their risks - the young people consuming them without any useful risk information eventually providing the risk data for the ACMD to make their next assessment (assuming it is ever quorate again).
The experience with GBL illustrates this last point well, having only emerged following the prohibition of GHB in 2003. GBL and GBH are effectively the same drug (GBL rapidly turning into GBH in the body within minutes of consumption) the difference being that GBL is an industrial solvent (also widely available as a cleaning product) and almost certainly more risky (as well as being widely available - so hard to see how it can practically be restricted, although this is a separate issue).

Looking at the bigger picture then it is clear that prohibition created the problem with these ‘legal highs’ in the first place, and prohibiting them now is highly unlikely to deliver public health benefits (demand being met through other channels or substitute drugs) but will potentially create increased risks and overall social and health harms. The primary beneficiaries are the criminal suppliers who will see their markets expand as supply shifts from legal to illicit sources, and the Home Secretary and Government who get a few 'get tough' headlines from their 'crackdown'.

It is notable that at no point was legally regulating the market in these or any other drugs rationally explored at Government level. The Impact Assessments that went along with the consultations for GBL and BZP only looked at prohibiting them under the MDA or leaving them in the admittedly unsatisfactory unregulated market niche they occupied until yesterday. Neither is a good option – but the third and obviously sensible choice of strict legal regulation was never even considered. This was for transparently political rather than rational or pragmatic reasons.

This failing is particularly striking in the case of BZP as New Zealand had previously established a legal regulatory model (a ‘Class D’ appended to their A-B-C classification system) for the legally regulated supply of BZP. Transform had alerted the ACMD and Home Office to this system in 2006 when the BZP issue first rose to prominence – and whilst the ACMD apparently held meetings with their New Zealand counterparts no suggestion was made for it to be implemented (although former ACMD chair David Nutt has subsequently suggested a exploration of such a system for legal regulation of cannabis availability would be sensible). We expect politicized drug war myopia from the Home Office, but The ACMD – nominally a non-political and independent scientific entity - have no such excuse and must take some responsibility for the negative policy outcomes of their classification recommendations with these drugs. Good science in harm evaluations becomes largely meaningless when it translates into criminal justice policy and a hierarchy of prison sentences, the impacts of which go entirely un-evaluated.

Transform have proposed clear and detailed models for regulating different types of drugs
that we hope will feature in future discussions, as a first step they must be an essential element of Impact Assessments when such decisions are being made.

Monday, December 14, 2009

US takes a long hard look at the war on drugs

Last week a Bill in US Congress made surprisingly smooth progress through the House of Representatives on its way to the Senate. The House bill establishes a Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission which will have two million dollars to investigate and research independently of the political process - "to review and evaluate United States policy regarding illicit drug supply reduction and interdiction".

The following is from the Miami Herald (10 Nov), U.S. may take new look at `war on drugs'

"Billions upon billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars have been spent over the years to combat the drug trade in Latin America and the Caribbean. In spite of our efforts, the positive results are few and far between," said Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, who chairs the House Western Hemisphere subcommittee. ``Clearly, the time has come to take a fresh look at our counternarcotics efforts.''

What's interesting about the planned independent drug policy commission is that the idea didn't come from a pro-legalization advocate, nor any leftist or libertarian crusader. The sponsor of the bill, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), opposes decriminalization of drugs for non-medical use, and is as mainstream as members of Congress come.

But Engel's frustration over the results of the U.S. war on drugs is symptomatic of Washington's growing skepticism about U.S. anti-drug policies these days.

The following is from the news agency Inter Press Service, US: Reconsidering War on Drugs:

The premise of the commission is not, of course, that we’re doing great but that our policies aren’t working and we need a rethink," says John Walsh, who works on drug policy at the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA). He says actions like this "speak to the level of frustration" over the impotence of past drug policies.

"You need to take it to the level of an independent commission to get it out of the crevices of politics," says Walsh.
WOLA released its own recommendations Tuesday on new directions these policies could take. Their report says past policies that have focused on eradication of coca and opium crops are counter-productive unless they are preceded by rural development. "Proper sequencing is crucial: development must come first," it reads, or else, without alternative livelihoods firmly in place, people will have no choice but to return to growing crops for illicit markets.

Introduced by: Rep. Eliot Engel

Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission Act of 2009 HR 2134


The Commission shall review and evaluate United States policy regarding illicit drug supply reduction and interdiction, with particular emphasis on international drug policies and programs directed toward the countries of the Western Hemisphere, along with foreign and domestic demand reduction policies and programs. The Commission shall identify policy and program options to improve existing international and domestic counter-narcotics policy.

This is of particular interest to me because I met with a staffer from Rep Engel’s office when I was in Washington a few weeks ago, following my visit to the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) Conference in Albuquerque. During the meeting, which I attended with Bill Piper from the Drug Policy Alliance, Eliot Engel's staffer suggested that if it went under the radar, it could clear the Committee by December. Amazingly, they managed it.

The DPA kindly arranged a number of meetings with Senators and Congressmen in a power packed schedule over two days. In short but punchy meetings I:

  1. Presented After the war on Drugs – Blueprint for Regulation

  2. Mentioned the potential political synergy between the US and UK if David Cameron gets in. Both Obama and Cameron, before becoming leaders of their respective parties, went on the record critiquing the war on drugs (and both former users).

  3. Showed that the head of the UNODC has identified the drug control system as a major cause of harm

  4. Suggested that the US review drug policy, as per our calls for Impact Assessment.

The pitch was universally well received, but had special support from both ends of the political spectrum, in the persons of Congressmen Rohrabacher and Kucinich.

I also had the opportunity to meet with Senator Jim Webb, who has his own bill, scrutinising the whole of the US criminal justice system, (with a particular section on drug policy) making its much slower way through Committee stage: National Criminal Justice Commission Act of 2009.

Unfortunately the Webb Bill, hit the media and the radar, and has been mauled by those trying to water it down with substantive amendments.

See below for my itinerary on Capitol Hill:

WED 18 Nov 2009

  • 10am – Meet w/ staff for Senator Cardin (D-MD). He is a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee

  • 11am – Meet w/ Senator Webb (D-VA). He is the sponsor of the criminal justice commission bill. Also is a member of the Armed Services Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, and the Joint Economic Committee

  • 2pm – Meet w/ staff for Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY). Engel is the sponsor of a bill to create a commission to examine the efficacy of eradication and interdiction efforts. He also sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee

  • 3pm – Meet w/ Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN). Cohen sits on the House Judiciary Committee, supports drug policy reform

  • 4pm – Meet w/ Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA). Rohrabacher sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee

  • 4:30pm – Meet w/ Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX). Paul sits on the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Join Economic Committee

THUR 19 Nov

  • 12:30pm – Meet w/ Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). Kucinich is a former presidential candidate who chairs the subcommittee with oversight over the drug czar’s office

  • 1:30pm – Meet w/ staff for Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA). Specter chairs the Senate Crime Subcommittee. A former Republican who just changed parties earlier this year

  • 2:00 – Meet w/ Rep. John Conyers (D-MI). Conyers chairs the House Judiciary Committee and is on DPA’s honorary bar.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy launched

On Human Rights Day 10.12.09, Transform Drug Policy Foundation welcomes the launch of the International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy. The launch announcement is copied below.

‘Individuals who use drugs do not forfeit their human rights...Too often, drug users suffer discrimination, are forced to accept treatment, marginalized and often harmed by approaches which over-emphasize criminalization and punishment while under-emphasizingharm reduction and respect for human rights.’
Navanethem Pillay
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, March 2009

Today, Human Rights Day(10 December 2009), is the occasion for the launch of the International Centre on Human Rights and Drug Policy.

The Centre is dedicated to developing and promoting innovative and high quality legal and human rights scholarship on issues related to drug laws, policy and enforcement.

It pursues this mandate by publishing original, peer reviewed research on drug issues as they relate to international human rights law, international humanitarian law, international criminal law and public international law, and fostering research on drug policy issues among postgraduate law and human rights students at universities and colleges around the world.

The Centre’s work is supported by a prestigious International Advisory Committee as well as two Institutional Partners.

At present, the Centre has established two ongoing projects:

  • The International Yearbook on Human Rights and Drug Policy is the first and only international peer reviewed law journal focusing exclusively on human rights and drug policy. We are now accepting submissions to the first edition of the Yearbook to be published in late 2010.

  • The Human Rights and Drug Policy Project is a joint initiative with the Irish Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, National University of Ireland, Galway. This Project will establish a Doctoral Studentship in Human Rights and Drug Policy, as well as a programme of activities designed to promote research on drug policy issues among other university human rights programmes. Applications for the Doctoral Studentship are being accepted until 18 December.

For more information, please visit or email

Project Directors: Rick Lines & Damon Barrett

International Advisory Committee: Dr Massimo Barra (founder, Villa Maraini Foundation, IT); Dr David Bewley-Taylor (Swansea University, UK); Prof Neil Boister (University of Canter(University of Essex, UK); Dr Ursula Kilkelly (University College Cork, IRE), Prof Manfred Nowak (UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment); Rebecca Schleifer (Human Rights Watch); Prof William A Schabas (Irish Centre for Human Rights); Baroness Vivien Stern (International Centre for Prison Studies, UK); Prof Gerry Stimson (International Harm Reduction Association)

Institutional Partners: International Harm Reduction Association; Irish Centre for Human Rights

The heroin and cocaine trade: clear on the problem - unclear on the solution

Foreign Policy magazine have produced an excellent graphic/schematic , by Beau Kilmer and Peter Reuter, showing the inflationary price effects of the illicit market as heroin and cocaine transit through the criminal chain from producers to users in the West (the first page is below - the full article with references is here).

What is lacking, however, is any comment or analysis of the fact that it is very specifically prohibitionist policies (combined with high, and growing, demand) that fuel this extraordinary price inflation. There is also no mention of the fact that there are parallel legal markets in both coca/cocaine and opium/heroin (for medical and other legal uses) that do not demonstrate this same dynamic, and do not feature any criminal activity whatsoever, at any point in the production and supply chain. These existing legal markets are described in some detail in Transform's latest publication 'After the War on Drugs; Blueprint for Regulation'

Unlike the analysis in the Foreign Policy piece that argues, rather lamely, that 'Answers are hard to come by in the quest to fight drugs' , the existing and functioning legal markets for heroin and cocaine, combined with the regulatory models for opiates and coca products discussed in Blueprint, do offer a basis for serioous discussions on ways to effectively combat the illicit trade and its associated problems - and also provide a sound foundation for addressing the longer term public health challenges of problematic use.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Czech Govt Allows 5 Cannabis Plants For Personal Use From 2010

From the Wall Street Journal today we learn that the Czech Republic is to join the growing list of countries decriminalising adult personal possession and use of small quantities of cannabis, and in the Czech case various other plant based drugs:

The interim Czech government, led by chief statistician-turned-Prime Minister Jan Fischer, Monday took another step towards making casual marijuana smoking a worry-free affair.

Fischer’s cabinet defined what constitutes “small amounts” of cannabis for personal use, clarifying the country’s new penal code that from next year decriminalizes cultivation and possession of the plant by individuals.

As of Jan. 1 ordinary Czechs can grow up to five marijuana plants or have several marijuana cigarettes in their pockets without fear of criminal prosecution. Previously what constituted a small amount was not specified and the police and courts loosely interpreted the penal code case by case, often resulting in incarceration of home growers.

New Drugs Report from DEMOS

A new report from DEMOS, titled CONNECTING THE DOTS includes a chapter on drug policy in the UK.

A chapter entitled 'Addicted to heroin', suggests that drug policy is complex and includes some discussion of the legalisation issue:

It includes the following:

"The most profound difference highlighted by a systems
approach is how the issue of heroin use is conceptualised, from
‘prohibitionist’ and ‘harm reduction’ to ‘addiction’ and
‘legalisation’. The prohibitionist perspective regards illegal drugs
as bad and criminalises drug use and possession; drugs policy is
seen as a matter of upholding the law’s authority. This is the
origin of ‘the war on drugs’ and is the basis of the strategy to
reduce supply and the laundering of ‘drug money’. Framing the
issue in a prohibitionist way can often mean that people and
agencies advocating alternative policies are regarded as being
‘soft on drugs’ – which remains a politically potent accusation.

This particular section cites Transform:

"The legalisation perspective argues that prohibition has
never worked and has always increased criminal activity. This
perspective presumes that there will always be people who wish
to experiment and use different drugs and that the safe way to let
them do this is to make drugs legal – but subject to regulation
and control. The claim is that such an approach would largely
remove the high level of criminal activity, seriously reducing the
health impacts. Many advocates of this approach also advocate
addressing the link between drug use and deprivation, poverty
and mental illness.52"

Monday, December 07, 2009

Reformers are not 'pro-drug' Mr Costa

Last week I received a response from Antonio Maria Costa - Executive Director of UN Office on Drugs and Crime - to a letter requesting that he desist from calling advocates of legalisation and regulation 'pro-drug'.

Here is one example from his 2009 paper 'Organized crime and its threat to security - tackling a disturbing consequence of drug control':

"The crime and corruption associated with the drug trade are providing strong evidence to a vocal minority of pro-drug lobbyists to argue that the cure is worse than the disease, and that drug legalisation is the solution."

This is from the executive summary to the World Drug Report 2009:

"Why unleash a drug epidemic in the developing world for the sake of libertarian arguments made by a pro-drug lobby that has the luxury of access to drug treatment?"

Mr Costa chose not to reply, only to respond.

Here is the letter I sent. The response is below.

Antonio Maria Costa
Executive Director
United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime
Vienna International Centre
PO Box 500
A 1400 Vienna

06 October 2009

Dear Mr Costa,
Re: ‘Pro-drugs’ comments

Thank you for your letter replying to mine of 1 Dec 2008, clarifying that it is organisations like Transform to whom you are referring when you suggested at the NGO event Beyond 2008, that our position could be summed up as “No to Marlboro, yes to skunk”. You use the term “pro drug lobby” regularly to describe those calling for drug law reform, for example in the preface to the World Drug Report 2009.

I would like to raise some significant concerns with you about the use of the phrase “pro drug” in reference to organisations such as ours. This term is used pejoratively to portray supporters of legalisation and regulation in a poor light. We believe it to be inappropriate for the head of UNODC to single out a particular group of NGOs and caricature our position in this way. I would ask you to read some of our materials on our web site and consider anew whether we are indeed “pro drug”. My guess is that your use of the phrase arises out of a misunderstanding of what we stand for, combined with what is commonly referred to as a false binary. We are indeed, strongly opposed to some of the positions held by those in the anti-drug movement. However, you then make the false assumption that we must therefore be “pro-drug”.

I wish to state categorically that we are not pro drug. We are neither pro nor anti drug, rather we are in favour of strong government regulation. In our collective experience it is unhelpful for us to position our organisation as being for or against the existence or use of drugs, whether they be licit or illicit. The UK Government is not pro alcohol and tobacco, just because it maintains support for their legally regulated sale.

We support and promote drug policies that are effective, just and humane; that support the UN’s three pillars – human development, human security and human rights. Transform, you, and indeed all those involved in the UN process share the common goals of reducing the harm caused by drugs (and bad drug policies) to individuals, communities and nation states. Given that this is the case, the most appropriate way to achieve that is to engage in meaningful dialogue with all stakeholders who take an evidence-based approach. Using pejorative and un-evidenced language, in suggesting that we are pro-drug, is partisan and inappropriate, coming from the head of the agency tasked with promoting inclusivity in the engagement of those in civil society in the drug policy making process. Since gaining ECOSOC consultative status, we have been made to feel singularly unwelcome at UN events where repeated slurs have been made on our work.

Lastly, portraying us negatively does nothing to promote our engagement in the UN process and gives a poor impression of the agency charged with facilitating civil society input at the UN.

We respectfully ask that you write to confirm that you will in future desist from using this kind of un-evidenced and pejorative language.

Should you wish to meet to discuss this further, I would be happy to do so.

I thank you for taking the time to consider this request.

Yours sincerely

Danny Kushlick

Head of Policy and Communications

cc. Mr. Andrei Abramov, Chief, NGO Branch, ECOSOC
Simon Smith, United Kingdom Permanent Representative to the United Nations Organisations in Vienna
Michel Sidibe, Executive Director, UNAIDS
David Turner, Vienna NGO Committee
Alun Jones, Chief of Communications and Advocacy, UNODC

Here is Costa's response:


1 December 2009

Dear Mr Kushlick

I would like to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated 6 October 2009, regarding our use of the term 'pro-drug'. I have taken note of your statement that your organisation is neither pro nor anti drugs, but rather in favour of strong government regulation and would give this my full consideration.

Yours sincerely

Antonio Maria Costa
Executive director

Friday, December 04, 2009

Transform submission to the Home Office review of the ACMD

Transform have prepared a response to the Home Office review of the ACMD available in pdf here*. The introduction is copied below.

Introductory Comments

Transform is supportive of the concept of an independent expert Government advisory body on drugs and drug policy. In such a highly emotive and politicised policy area as drugs, the existence and independent functioning of such an entity becomes all the more critical; able to objectively review and speak to the evidence and make pragmatic recommendations on key questions based on science and rational analysis, rather than politics or ideology.

Whilst Transform have been impressed by the consistent level of expertise, thoroughness and rigor of the ACMD’s outputs, we have also been critical of them on a number of fronts, both analytical and procedural. Some of these criticisms are outlined – with proposed solutions – in this submission.

However, it has become clear that the ability of the Council to function properly is critically, undermined by the nature of its constitution within the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA), and its corresponding operation within the ambit of the Home Office. The discussion and proposals made in response to the questions posed by this review can hopefully offer some short term improvements, but are essentially band-aids for the wider malfunctioning of a system in urgent need of root and branch reform.

We have touched upon the more profound systemic problems with the ACMD, the classification system and the MDA throughout the following discussion as they inevitably frame other responses – but have not explored them in the depth they deserve as they are clearly beyond the remit of this narrowly defined review.

We would, however, hope that one of the recommendations to emerge from this process is for the review of the classification system, promised to Parliament by the then Home Secretary in January 2006 and then dropped by his successor, be revisited and undertaken with some urgency. The proposed review enjoyed, as far as Transform is aware, universal support in the drugs field, as well as from two Select Committees, and indeed the ACMD itself. The reasoning given by Government for abandoning the review - that it ‘believes that the classification system discharges its function fully and effectively and has stood the test of time’ - is entirely unacceptable given the widespread consensus beyond Government that the system is not fit for purpose.

*The online version has some small typo/corrections to the submitted version

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Transform FOI vs Home Office suppression of research - Part V (in The Economist )

The following article is the latest installment in Transform's long running campaign to get the Government to release its publicly funded research into the effectiveness of UK drug policy . It appears in this week's Economist magazine here. For more background see the links after the article.

Secret evidence on drugs policy

Inconvenient truths

Dec 3rd 2009
From The Economist print edition

The most creative attempt yet to get around freedom-of-information laws?

STRETCHING the law on the disclosure of public documents has been a competitive sport among civil servants ever since the Freedom of Information (FoI) Act was passed in 2000. It requires public bodies to reveal information on request, but provides 23 get-outs, designed to protect secrets that ought to stay under wraps because they threaten national security, personal privacy and so on. The rules are often interpreted in a creative way.

Now The Economist has discovered a contender for the most inventive interpretation to date. After thinking about it for nearly two years and trying out various exemptions, the Home Office has refused to release a confidential assessment of its anti-drugs strategy requested by Transform, a pressure group. The reason is that next March the National Audit Office (NAO), a public-spending watchdog, is due to publish a report of its own on local efforts to combat drugs. The Home Office says that to have two reports about drugs out at the same time might confuse the public, and for this reason it is going to keep its report under wraps.

This is believed to be the first time that a public body has openly refused to release information in order to manage the news better. The department argues that releasing its internal analysis now “risks misinterpretation of the findings of the [NAO] report”, because its own analysis is from 2007 and predates the NAO’s findings. The argument uses section 36 of the FOI act, which provides a broad exemption for information that could “prejudice the effective conduct of public affairs”.

The information commissioner, who polices the FOI act, declined to comment because the case was still open. But his predecessor, Richard Thomas, who stepped down in June, questioned the novel defence. “Certainly my office was always quite sceptical of anything which said publishing information is going to confuse the public. If that’s the case, normally you need to put out some extra material alongside it to provide adequate explanation. It’s not a reason for withholding something.”

Sir Alan Beith, the chairman of the parliamentary Justice Committee, which oversees the FOI act, was sharply critical of the Home Office’s excuse. “That’s really scraping the barrel. On those grounds you would have to ban the various hospital reports that are coming out at the moment [see article] because the public are confused about that too. It’s not an argument for censorship, it’s an argument for an even more open and clear debate.” The Home Office was making “a quite ridiculous attempt to hide from freedom of information,” he said.

The legality of the decision is also in doubt, after the department admitted that its refusal to release the document had not been approved by a minister, as is required by law. A Home Office spokeswoman called it an “administrative error”. Retrospective ministerial authorisation was being sought as The Economist went to press.

Legally or not, the Home Office will be able to hang on to its report for now because the FOI act takes so long to enforce. The commissioner’s office is said to be ready to order the release of the report now. If it does, the Home Office has 28 days to launch an appeal, which could take a year. In the meantime, drugs policy will continue to be shaped—or not—by research that the public paid for but may not see.


Previous coverage/background from the Transform blog:

There will be more discussion and background on this story next week.......