Substance use can cause harms to individuals and societies, but opinions differ regarding how these harms are best reduced. Such opinions will also reflect how we view trade-offs, as policies need to balance the harms of use against negative consequences of restrictive policies and the pleasures and benefits that the majority of users may claim to experience. Over time, and across regions, policies – even for the same substance – have ranged from strict prohibitions criminalising production and consumption to relatively unregulated commercial markets. In recent years, policy changes in US states, Uruguay and Canada have fuelled a growing debate on whether cannabis supply and consumption should be legalised and, if so, how strictly it should be regulated (Caulkins & Kilmer, 2016; Hawken, Caulkins, Kilmer, & Kleiman, 2013; Room, 2014; Uchtenhagen, 2014). The appropriate balance between “free market” and “government control” also remains an issue for alcohol, with a current example being the debate over minimum unit pricing (Holmes et al., 2014; Stockwell, Auld, Zhao, & Martin, 2012). Public health arguments are frequently emphasised in these discussions (Hall & Degenhardt, 2009; Hall & Lynskey, 2016; Room, Babor, & Rehm, 2005) with a particular focus on adolescent use (Hasin et al., 2015; Simons-Morton, Pickett, Boyce, ter Bogt, & Vollebergh, 2010), while other concerns include social consequences (Klingemann & Gmel, 2001; Laslett et al., 2011) and crime and criminalisation (Csete et al., 2016a; MacCoun & Reuter, 2001).
- Adressing barriers to effective HIV prevention and service delivery among people who inject drugs in Nigeria
- Uganda harm reduction network- (UHRN) Annual report 2017
- Annual report on the death penalty in Iran 2017
- Night lives: Reducing drug-related harm in the night time economy
- Drug policy reform- the UNGASS 2016 a catalyst for change?
- Wastewater analysis and drugs: a European multi-city study 2018
- Vienna NGO Comitee on drugs annual report 2017
- The death penalty for drug offenders: global overview 2017
- Drug dependence treatment in Thailand: progress against persistent concerns