This publication is a chapter from a four-part Report, Roadmaps to Regulation: Cannabis, Psychedelics, MDMA, and NPS, that will be published later this year. The Report was convened by Amanda Feilding, and principally funded by the John Paul Getty Jr. Foundation with further assistance from the Open Society Foundations (OSF).

The Report aims to bring together the best available evidence on the regulation of psychoactive drugs in a rigorous, yet accessible way. In part, it is an invitation to think differently about drug policy options.

The wealth of expertise that we have gained from our work in the drug policy field strengthens our conviction that the strict legal regulation of drugs is the ultimate goal of drug policy reform. The governments of the world, duty-bound to safeguard their citizens’ well-being, surely would do a better job of minimising the overall harms of drugs than the criminal organisations currently profiting from the illicit market. It is no longer acceptable to simply assume that the risks of a legal market will exceed those of prohibition, especially when there is already the beginnings of a scientific evidence-base to show that a regulated market can provide effective ways of reducing harms. In view of this, the Report was established to provide policymakers with tools to move beyond the blanket application of reactive prohibition. Our aim is to provide guidelines for considering the best available evidence, and for utilising this knowledge in supporting decisions about how to move forward with the complicated issues surrounding the regulation of different categories of psychoactive substances. 

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