In 2018, the West African Commission on Drugs (WACD) published a ground-breaking ‘Model Drug Law for West Africa: A tool for policymakers’ to assist West African policymakers in (re)formulating national drug laws. The Model Drug Law was a follow-up to the Commission’s 2014 publication ‘Not Just in Transit: Drugs, the State and Society in West Africa’.

The Model Drug Law contains the four key parts of a drug law (general provisions, penal provisions, authorised activities, and schedules and annexes), each of which consists of model legislative provisions and commentary, in line with the UN drug control conventions.

By its design the Model Drug Law is a technical document, so this ‘explainer’ aims to provide a more accessible summary of the key elements.