As deaths from drug use reach decade long highs and a painful spike in youth violence is linked to the illicit drugs market solutions are clearly in need. This symposium seeks to use evidence and experience to bring informed discussion into the arena of these complex issues. Please join us at London metropolitan university, just a few minutes walk for Holloway road underground station.

Book your tickets now: All tickets must be bought prior to the event, cash will not be taken on the door

Professor David Nutt is best known for his time as Chairman of the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs and his dramatic exit from the role. He continues to research the harms of drug use, as well as medicinal uses for currently prohibited drugs (

Professor Fiona Measham is a criminologist and and founder of The Loop ( Working at festivals and in Bristol City Centre, punters can now have the purity and contents of their illicit drugs tested - allowing them to make an informed choice about what they are consuming. In 2018, the agency broke the record for the most samples tested by any drug testing agency in a single day.

Andy Briers is a Police Inspector working within Operation Trident. The task force was originally designated with tackling gun crime and homicide in London’s African and Caribbean communities, but their scope now includes all gang-related gun crime. Most recently Dr Briers has been working on the county lines phenomenon, where London-based drug dealers either sell directly to provincial areas, or recruit local young people into criminal lifestyles.

Neil Woods was an undercover drug cop, who has publicly come out against the war on drugs. Since then, he has become president of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition ( and has authored his nail-biting memoirs ‘Good Cop Bad War’ (

Nuno Capaz is at the forefront of decriminalisation. He is a sociologist who works for Portugal’s Ministry for Health, leading the Dissuasion Commission. This group counsel individuals who are caught in personal possession of drugs, rather than sending them to court. 

Dr. Marcos Baudean ( is a senior lecturer in research methodology at University ORT Uruguay and a researcher at Monitor Cannabis Uruguay. He was closely involved in Uruguay’s transition to a regulated and nationalised cannabis supply. He is a wealth of knowledge of the practical issues surrounding cannabis regulation.

PC Andy Costello works in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, principally with street homeless individuals. This group has been hit hard by the ‘spice’ epidemic, referring to a range of synthetic cannabinoids. He has a valuable insight into how the supply of these drugs has affected vulnerable populations in the UK.

Professor Sue Pryce is a leading academic on the politics of the war on drugs. She teaches on the subject and has also written ‘Fixing Drugs: the politics of drug prohibition’ (