A high-profile parliamentary conference is to be held next month to discuss alternatives to Britain’s failing drug laws and influence the international debate on drugs.

The provisional programme for the conference, to be hosted by the UK parliament’s Commons home affairs committee, includes officials from Mexico’s foreign ministry, legalisation campaigners such as Danny Kushlick, of Transform, and health experts such as Prof David Nutt.

The conference will also form part of preparations for the UN general assembly special session on the world drug problem, to be held in 2016.

Nick Clegg had been expected to speak at the conference but the Liberal Democrat Home Office minister, Lynne Featherstone, will attend instead.

The Lib Dem leader is, however, still expected to make a major speech on drug policy early next month to renew his party’s commitment to radical reform of Britain’s drug laws as the election campaign intensifies.

The conference, which is to be held in Cambridge on 12 March, follows a report from the home affairs select committee two years ago, which called for a royal commission to consider all the alternatives to the current drug laws and argued for a fundamental review of all UK drug policy.

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