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Global Initiative for Drug Policy Reform


in Featured Slider (Launched 16/11/11)


  • To promote health-oriented, cost-effective drug policies based on scientific evidence and human rights.
  • To support the rational redistribution of resources away from criminalisation and incarceration and towards healthcare, education and rehabilitation.
  • To bring together and provide a forum for a) the Global Commission on Drug Policy; b) countries who have successfully implemented alternative approaches; and c) countries interested in drug policy reform.
  • To commission, collect and disseminate information and new data in order to educate politicians and the public about alternative approaches to drug policy

Time for Change

The War on Drugs has failed

Despite governments spending globally in excess of $100 billion a year on fighting the War on Drugs, there has been a clear long-term pattern of increasing availability and use. The unintended consequences of the current policies include ever-growing health problems and soaring levels of crime, violence and corruption throughout the world, together with discrimination and widespread abuses of human rights. The illicit drug trade is now the third most valuable industry in the world, estimated to be worth $450 billion per year, all in the hands of criminals.

Improving our drug policy is one of the key policy challenges of our time. Let us break the taboo on debate and reform. The time for action is now.

Informing the Public

The Beckley Foundation is co-coordinating a global media campaign to inform both politicians and the public about the failings of the current system of criminalisation and the potential benefits of an evidence-based, health-orientated approach to drug policy. To augment this campaign, the Beckley Foundation will be conducting polls and a public petition to gauge public opinions on drug policy issues.

The Launch of the Initiative

The Global Initiative for Drug Policy Reform, launched at the House of Lords on November 17, with a Meeting co-hosted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Drug Policy Reform and the Beckley Foundation, will promote health-oriented, cost-effective policies based on scientific evidence and human rights. It will also open the discussion on how to reform the UN Drug Conventions, which currently restrict the options open to any country for drug policy reform.

At the Meeting, there will be evidence presented by:

  • high-level representatives of countries who have already experimented with alternative policies;
  • the Global Commission on Drug Policy, who will present their Report.

The Beckley Foundation has commissioned the following Reports, also to be discussed at the Meeting:

Beckley Foundation Reports

  1. A Cost-Benefit Analysis of a Regulated and taxed Cannabis Market in the UK

This is the first-ever analysis of its kind, and will provide valuable economic data. It has been undertaken by Professor Stephen Pudney and his team.

  1. Rewriting the UN Drug Conventions

This ground-breaking report, authored by Professor Robin Room and Sarah Mackay, is the first to carefully document the ways in which the UN Conventions can be amended in order to allow signatory countries the freedom to choose and experiment with domestic policies best suited to their special needs. These include two main options:

1) to clearly decriminalise the use and possession of small amounts of controlled drugs for personal consumption;

2) to tax and regulate the domestic market in one or more substances, e.g. coca leaf or cannabis.

Global Initiative Documents:









Colombian president calls for global rethink on drugs

Britain should talk about legalising drugs, says Colombia president (whose country produces around 80% of world’s cocaine)

The war on drugs and the shameful silence of our politicians

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