London Met brings together world-renowned experts for one day event.
Date: 2 November 2018
Experts and researchers from as far afield as Uruguay and Portugal came together to discuss contemporary drug policies at London Metropolitan University on 1 November.
The aim of the conference, Street Drugs in the Big Smoke, was to explore present-day drug policies and related research from around the world, looking at how novel and innovative approaches can reduce drug related harms.
Professor Lynn Dobbs, Vice-Chancellor of London Metropolitan University, opened the event with a call for evidence based policy making;
“This approach offers the potential to explore such issues as drug safety testing, issues around the regulation of street drugs, the current criminalisation mode, and the importance of putting science and evidence at the heart of UK drugs policy rather than politics. It also offers an international approach by drawing on examples from overseas, from Portugal and Uruguay, where we can draw on experiences of decriminalisation to consider the impact on overdoses, HIV infection and drug related crime. It is incredibly important that Universities are involved in debates concerning research and policy.”
The audience, a mixture of students, academics, policy makers and practitioners, heard from eight speakers in total throughout the day. Their backgrounds ranged from a former undercover drugs detective sergeant, to a government health commissioner.
Professor David Nutt (pcitured), Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and director of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit at Imperial College London, and a well-known figure in the ongoing discussion of UK drugs policy, was there to speak on the day.
Professor Nutt outlined how he sees ‘significant flaws in current drug policy’, touching upon how ‘the punishment [for drug possession] is currently disproportionate to the harm they cause.’
Professor Nutt also spoke on the recent ‘Spice’ epidemic, explaining that this dangerous and complex drug now used on the streets daily is ‘forced onto a market made up of vulnerable people’, and in the government’s attempts to tackle the epidemic and halt its production, they have ‘banned over 100,000 chemicals which are used in important academic and medical research’.
Street Drugs in the Big Smoke was a joint venture between the British Association for Psychopharmacology and the British Society of Criminology. It was organised by Dr. James Morgan, senior lecturer in Criminology. Dr. Morgan was assisted by Dr. Chris Chandler, Head of Psychology, and Devinder Curry, Principal Lecturer in Criminology and Policing, in putting on the conference.
Jo Neill, Professor of Psychopharmacology at the University of Manchester, and President of British Association for Psychopharmacology, also helped organise the conference.
Launching the Global Diversities and Inequalities Research Centre
The GDIRC will bring together researchers from across the University to explore a range of issues relating to diversity and inequality.
The untold sexual violence of the Irish war
In a new documentary, Cogadh ar Mhná, Professor Louise Ryan shares her innovative research into suppressed stories of violence against women.
A new framework for screening ADHD and Autism
Children with neurodiverse conditions tend to respond differently to spatial categorisation tests than neurotypical children, meaning these tests may help inform earlier diagnoses.
Rebuilding a fairer economy: new partnership to help young people back into work
A partnership between London Met and Hackney Council will help rebuild an inclusive local economy, as part of the long-term response to the pandemic.
Welcoming the newest members of our Student Panel
The Student Panel works with staff and advisors to promote best practice at the University, helping to enhance new courses and the student experience.
Why is the Nvidia-ARM deal significant?
Nvidia’s acquisition is fuelled by the drive to bring artificial intelligence (AI) to everything from self-driving vehicles to robotics, says Professor Bal Virdee.
SU President to shape national student experience
Chrystalle Margallo will join the Student Strategic Advisory Committee for the QAA, the independent body for monitoring and advising on standards in UK higher education.
Lecturer awarded major grant to explore Turkey's diasporas
Dr Ozturk has been awarded a Marie Skłodowska-Curie research fellowship for his project, DIASPORALANDS.
Paris Photography Prize Success
Fashion Photography lecturer’s photograph wins bronze in international award.
London Met alum shortlisted for BBC National Short Story Award
Jack Houston, who graduated from the University’s Creative Writing and English Literature programme, is among an illustrious group of nominees for the prestigious fiction prize.
Greening London: celebrating the capital's first anniversary as National Park City
Rewild My Street, the design-led campaign led by London Met’s Siân Moxon, was showcased in the celebrations.
Mind the gap? Social distancing in North London
Over a two week period, almost all North Londoners broke social distancing rules with nearly half doing so deliberately.
Peter Marigold and Graduates
12-20 September 2020
Leading designer invites graduates of BA Furniture and Product Design to exhibit with him during the capital’s biggest annual celebration of design.
Yinka Ilori recognised for impact on design scene
London Met Furniture and Product Design alumnus has been awarded the Emerging Design Medal by London Design Festival.