The generalisations being used to defend continuation of an expensive and systematically failing policy of drugs prohibition, and close down a mature and rational exploration of alternative approaches, are demonstrably based on un-evidenced assumptions.

This paper is an attempt to begin to redress these failings by comparing the costs and benefits of the current policy of drug prohibition, with those of a proposed model for the legal regulation of drugs in the UK. It also identify areas of further research, and steps to ensure future drugs policy is genuinely based on evidence of what works.

This analysis demonstrates that a move to legally regulated drug supply would deliver substantial benefits to the Treasury and wider community, even in the highly unlikely event of a substantial increase in use.