Welcome to the first issue of the IDPC magazine. This series of magazines from IDPC, created in association with TalkingDrugs, will feature personal stories behind the policy debates to give a flavour of how policies affect the real, lived experiences of people on the ground.

The stories in this inaugural IDPC magazine are a stark reminder of why the drug laws of many countries across the globe need to be fixed. Each story – collected from countries as diverse as Cambodia, Indonesia, Mexico, the Netherlands and Poland – tells us of the disproportionate harm suffered by individuals of the badly focused resources targeting low-level “offending”, and of the human rights abuses inflicted in the name of drug control.