February 2012: Colin Blakemore - Can the war on drugs ever be won?
_ Prof. Colin Blakemore, neuroscientist and commissioner of the UK Drug Policy Commission was speaker at our SciBar on Thursday 16th February.
Since the launch of Richard Nixon’s ‘War on Drugs’ in the 1960s, the number of illegal drug users, and the availability and potency of illegal drugs have inexorably risen, while the costs of street drugs have progressively fallen. By any objective criterion, the ‘War on Drugs’ has failed. While there is general acknowledgement that the problem of illegal drug use is not being adequately controlled, there is little political will to contemplate a radical new direction. But elsewhere in the world – in The Netherlands, Switzerland, Portugal, South America – new approaches based on harm reduction, tolerance of personal choice and regulation of supply are generating experience and evidence that should be taken into account. What should we do about drugs? Is it better to stick to present policy, even if it is not solving the problem; or should we contemplate a change in policy? If the latter, how can we construct a drug policy that it based on evidence rather than prejudice and fear? Prof Blakemore discussed this and more at this exciting SciBar event.
Missed it? Subscribe to the podcast! The podcast also includes an interview with Colin after his talk. Enjoy!
February 2012 Podcast