In 1971 parliament passed the Misuse of Drugs Act – a piece of legislation which banned the possession, supply, manufacture and the import and export of controlled drugs. In the fifty years since its creation, its impact has been devastating.
The number of people dying from drugs in England and Wales continues to rise. Drug-related deaths rose to 4,561 last year – the highest level since records began in 1993. The prohibitionist approach of getting ‘tough’ on drugs has clearly failed. It’s time to discuss the possibility of a new approach.