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!