Time for an Impact Assessment of Drug Policy

All stakeholders in the debate on drug policy share the goal of maximising social, environmental, physical and psychological wellbeing. At a time of economic crisis, it is particularly important that drug policy expenditure is cost-effective. Yet despite the many billions of dollars in drug-related spending each year, there are significant concerns about the effectiveness of current approaches at the domestic and international level. The time has come to provide an objective mechanism for assessing the relative merits of different policy approaches, by developing a genuinely evidence-based Impact Assessment (IA) of Drug Policy that compares the impact of alternative policies on human development, human security and human rights.