The UK government’s official drug advisers privately advocated for a formal repeal of the criminalisation of personal-use drug possession in 2016, a leaked document has revealed.
The Guardian has seen a copy of the 27-page pro-decriminalisation report, which the Home Office ignored at the time but then fought a three-year battle to keep confidential after a freedom of information request.
The report sent to the then home secretary by the former chair of the Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs highlighted a number of serious concerns around criminalising drug use. It is the only ACMD report not to have been published.
It said there was “little consistent international evidence that the criminalisation for possession of drugs for personal use is effective in reducing drug use”, that the UK was not required to criminalise drug use under its treaty obligations, and that criminalisation harmed people’s educational and employment prospects.