CAMH Senior Scientists Claire de Oliveira and Benedikt Fischer weigh in on the newly released London
School of Economics report: Ending the Drug Wars: Report of the LSE Expert Group
on the Economics of Drug Policy (pdf).
Authors of the report contend that current international
policies need a drastic rethink, and call for reallocating funding away from
law enforcement and damaging policies, towards evidence-based public health
policies, harm reduction and treatment.
“The advocates of prohibition had about a century to prove
that their approach is actually effective and we’re still waiting for the
positive evidence," says Dr. Fischer. “I think it’s fair game to now say,
look let’s give some alternative approaches a chance and on an evidence base,
not based on ideology."
The report authors would like to see countries experiment
with drug regulations, to see which policies are effective, and which are not.
Dr. de Oliveira, a health economist, agrees with the Nobel prize-winning authors, that a new direction is
needed to tackle drug policy reform.
“This is also the type of approach I take in my work and when proposing
any policy recommendation – to implement policies that have been shown to work
and that are based on rigorous, scientific evidence,” she says.