In May 2009, the Home Affairs Select Committee on the cocaine trade announced their intention to investigate the trends in cocaine use in the UK, and progress in tackling the cocaine trade, in terms of reducing both supply and demand in the UK.
Several IDPC members submitted memorandums to the Home Affairs Select Committee on this issue.
IDPC's submission focuses on the policy harms created by strategies to reduce the supply of and demand for cocaine in the UK. The key points are:
- Repressive strategies to reduce the demand and supply of cocaine have failed and have resulted in unintended negative consequences in the UK. In many ‘producer’ or ‘trafficker’ countries international collaboration or outside pressure towards repressive strategies have also contributed to violence and drug related crime, politicized crime, and corruption at intolerable levels such that democracies have been undermined.
- An objective and open debate of alternative paradigms is now required, not least with regards to law enforcement approaches.
- Any new paradigm should involve: users being treated as a matter of public health; efforts to reduce consumption taking the form of information, education and prevention schemes, and proportionate repression being limited to organised crime.
- All policies should be evidence based and further resources should be allocated to a cost-benefit analysis and an impact assessment of current strategies.