Information about the Observatory

GDPO LogoNational and international drug policies and programmes that privilege  harsh law enforcement and punishment in an effort to eliminate the cultivation, production, trade and use of controlled substances – what has become known as the ‘war on drugs’ – are coming under increased scrutiny. The Global Drug Policy Observatory aims to promote evidence and human rights based drug policy through the comprehensive and rigorous reporting, monitoring and analysis of policy developments at national and international levels. Acting as a platform from which to reach out to and engage with broad and diverse audiences, the initiative aims to help improve the sophistication and horizons of the current policy debate among the media and elite opinion formers as well as within law enforcement and policy making communities. The Observatory engages in a range of research activities that explore not only the dynamics and implications of existing and emerging policy issues, but also the processes behind policy shifts at various levels of governance.

GDPO Quarterly News: October 2016 – January 2017

In October, the GDPO welcomed two new members to the team; Dr Khalid Tinasti and Dr Christopher Hallam.  Currently based in Geneva where he is the Executive Secretary of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, Khalid joins the Observatory as a Swansea University Honorary Research Associate. Having recently been awarded his doctorate from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine under the supervision of Professor Virginia Berridge, Christopher joins the team as a Research Associate.  We look forward to their involvement in developing and strengthening a range of work streams relating to their areas of expertise, including public health and UN drug control policy. October also saw Dave once again spend time at Hong Kong University as visiting... 

 To read more, and to see previous quarterly news reports, click here

Our Projects

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Featured Publications

Featured Publications

Internet-Facilitated Drugs Trade

An analysis of the size, scope, and the role of the Netherlands

Judith Aldridge et al., RAND Corporation, 2016

Today, there are around 50 so-called cryptomarkets and vendor shops where anonymous sellers and buyers find each other to trade illegal drugs, new psychoactive substances, prescription drugs and other goods and services. But it is not just the obscure parts of the Internet where drugs are on offer. There are numerous web shops, easily found by search engines, which offer new psychoactive substances, often labelled as 'research chemicals'.

The Netherlands occupies a crucial position in European illicit drug markets. Data from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction suggested it is the main producer of MDMA, ecstasy and herbal cannabis and a key distribution hub for cannabis resin and cocaine. Whether the pivotal role of the Netherlands also extends online, has yet been unclear...

See the complete report Internet Facilitated Drugs Trade - Netherlands

GDPO Situation Analysis

The GDPO Situation Analysis provides the diversity of stakeholders within the drug policy arena with concise, cutting edge assessment of key topics, enabling informed engagement with pertinent developments and debates. Presented in a focused and standardised format, the SA flags risks, opportunities and future trends in crucial issue areas, delivering to readers actionable information and evidence based insight.

Click here to read all our Situation Analysis