Drug Classification: Making a Hash of It?; Fifth Report of Session 2005-06; Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence

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This is the second of three case studies under the Committee's over-arching inquiry into the Government's handling of scientific advice, risk and evidence in policy making. This report focuses on the relationship between scientific advice and evidence and the classification of illegal drugs. Amongst its findings, the Committee criticises the lack of consistency in the rationale used to make drug classification decisions within the current 'ABC' system, and calls for its replacement by a more scientifically-based scale of harm, decoupled from penalties for possession and trafficking. The report argues that the weakness of the evidence base on addiction and drug abuse is a severe hindrance to effective policy making, and highlights the need for the Government to increase significantly its investment in research. The report also identifies a number of serious flaws in the role played by the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), the Government's scientific advisory committee on drug classification and policy, with a need for independent oversight of the Council's workings in the future.

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Report Page
Sources of advice
Incorporation of advice into policy
A scientifically based scale of harm?
Membership of the ACMD

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