Drugs: Misuse

Home Department written question – answered on 20th January 2014.

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Photo of Mike Wood Mike Wood Labour, Batley and Spen

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what steps she is taking in response to the UN Secretary General's call for member states to conduct a wide-ranging and open debate that considers all options on drugs policy.

Photo of Norman Baker Norman Baker The Minister of State, Home Department

The UK coalition Government is committed to working with the international community, including through the UN and EU, to address the significant harms drugs cause to individuals, families and communities.

The March 2014 UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs will be an important forum for the debate on how the international community can work together to ensure the global approach to drugs is as effective as it can be. We will continue to advocate a balanced and evidence-based international response that combines effective enforcement to restrict the supply of drugs with efforts to reduce demand and build recovery.

We are building on the commitment in the 2010 Drug Strategy to “review new evidence on what works in other countries and what we can learn from it” by undertaking a study that will gather evidence on best practice in other countries.

As part of the study, the former Minister for Crime Prevention, Jeremy Browne MP, visited Portugal, Denmark, Sweden, South Korea, Japan, USA and Canada. I visited the Czech Republic and officials went to Switzerland in December last year and we plan to hold a video conference with New Zealand in the near future.

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