Reforming UK drug policies

Dr James Morgan recently attended an All-Party Parliamentary Group session to discuss and engage with contemporary drug policies.

Date: 14 November 2018

Dr James Morgan, course leader for Criminology and Psychology BSc, attended a panel discussion at the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 31 October to engage with discussions about drug policy reform.

Hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Reform Policy, the session invited Dr Nuno Capaz, Vice-President of the Commission for the Dissuasion of Drug Addiction in Portugal, and Marcos Baudean, Researcher at the University ORT in Uruguay, to discuss how their home countries address drug crime and what UK policy makers can learn from those experiences.

Dr Morgan commented: “Drug crime is a hugely relevant and topical issue which is affecting our society today. Sessions such as these are instrumental in helping shape the way we perceive drug crime and finding solutions to the problems we face.

“Both Portugal and Uruguay have recently made huge significant changes in their countries which has had an effect on drug policies in their countries. Whilst their changes have not been perfect, it was fascinating to discuss the lessons they have learnt through this process, and what lessons we can take from them for UK policy.”

Members of Parliament (MPs) Caroline Lucas, Jeff Smith, Ronnie Cowan and Baroness Meacher were also in attendance. There are a number of All-Party Parliamentary Groups  that meet regularly to discuss issues affecting the UK. The sessions are run by and for Members of Commons and Lords. Sessions are attended by MPs, policy makers, policy advisers, academics and researchers.

London Metropolitan University recently hosted a conference to discuss contemporary drug policies. World-renowned experts, including Dr Capaz and Marcos Baudean, were brought together for one day to share and exchange ideas and practices.