GDPO Director on expert review panel for new report on 'Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work'

A professor at Swansea University has been involved in the production of a landmark report by a high-level body calling for radical changes to international drug policy.

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GDPO logo largeProfessor David Bewley-Taylor, Director of the Global Drug Policy Observatory (GDPO) based at Swansea University, was a member of the expert review panel for the new report, 'Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work', produced by the Global Commission on Drug Policy and released in September.  Julia Buxton, Senior Research Officer at the GDPO, was also on the panel.

The Global Commission, made up of prominent public figures including numerous ex-heads of state and former UN secretary General Kofi Annan, called for the legal regulation of drugs and an end to the criminalisation of drug users. They emphasised the destructive impact of the current focus on punitive measures and prohibition. Other high-level bodies, like the Organisation of American States and the predecessor to the Global Commission, the Latin American Commission on Drug Policy, had previously called for a major review of policies, but the new report is the first time such a body has specifically recommended the creation of legally regulated markets for drugs in order to end the cycle of drug-related crime, corruption, and violence, and to reduce the power of organised crime. The publication of the report garnered worldwide press attention and is expected to have an impact on the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs in 2016, a meeting that could set the stage for a new international drug policy framework.