Commissioned research

10. As part of this inquiry, the Committee commissioned RAND Europe, a not-for-profit policy research consultancy, to provide an independent review of the evidence base for developing policy on the classification of illegal drugs. The research looked at the evidence for physical and social harm associated with specific drugs, evidence of the impact of classification and international differences in the interpretation of the existing evidence. The research looked at drugs in all three classifications. For Class A it examined cocaine, magic mushrooms and ecstasy. In Class B it covered amphetamines. In Class C it investigated the most commonly used illegal drug, cannabis, which was reclassified in 2002 and considered again by the Home Secretary in January 2006. The research also looked at the classification systems used in three other countries to provide evidence for comparative purposes. The report, referred to here as the 'RAND report', was published on 1 March 2006 and an addendum issued shortly thereafter.13

11. We commissioned this research with the objective of obtaining an impartial assessment of the relationship between UK policy on drug classification and the international, publicly-available evidence base to underpin it. In so doing, we sought to complement our own evidence-gathering processes undertaken during the inquiry, in which we have heard directly from the key players involved in the provision of advice and development of policy, as well as looking in greater detail at the workings of the Government's major source of scientific advice in this area, the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs.

0 0

Post a comment