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Reframing drug policy discourse: Impacting high-level debates on international drug control

Research enhances understanding of policy change in debates on international drug control policy

Today there is a growing appreciation of the complexities of illicit drug markets and the challenges associated with policy responses designed to counter them. With this has come increasing discussion of and engagement with policy shifts away from what has become known as the ‘war on drugs’.

Within this context, research at Swansea University has enhanced understanding of policy change in high-level debates on international drug control policy. Specifically it has pioneered concepts that help explain the increasing tensions between the overarching UN drug control conventions and national policies on controlled drugs that deviate from punitive-prohibition; incorporating harm reduction practices as well as the decriminalisation of cannabis possession for personal use.

In working to reframe drug policy discourse, the research helped facilitate consideration by decision-makers of innovative approaches that aim to reduce a range of drug related harms.

“Recent years have seen the regulatory regime of drugs come under increasing scrutiny…[this] research offers an innovative scientific framework for understanding how the resulting policy shifts impact the global control system and constitutes a must-read for anyone interested or engaged in the drug policy debate.” His Excellency Eduardo Medina-Mora, Ambassador of Mexico to the USA

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