Contents

Report Page

Summary 3

1 Introduction 5

2 Background 7

ABC classification system 7

Misuse of Drugs Regulations 8

Commissioned research 9

International comparisons 9

US 10

Netherlands 10

Sweden 10

Obligations under UN treaties 11

Other reports and sources of information 11

3 Sources of advice 13

Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs 13

Role 13

Membership 17

Role of ACPO 19

Role of Home Office 20

4 Incorporation of advice into policy 22

Cannabis 22

Magic mushrooms 26

Ecstasy and amphetamines 28

Ecstasy 28

Methylamphetamine 30

5 Transparency 33

ACMD 33

Home Office 34

The need for a systematic approach 35

6 Evidence base for classification 36

Evidence for deterrent effect 36

Sending out signals 37

Evidence base for classification decisions 37

Sources of evidence 37

UK investment in research 39

Monitoring and evaluation 40

Role of ACMD 40

7 A scientifically based scale of harm?

Assessment of harm 42

Current classifications 43

Review of the classification system 44

Relationship between classification and penalties 45

Benefits of a more scientifically based scale of harm 46

Tobacco and alcohol 47

8 Conclusion 48 Conclusions and recommendations 49

9 ANNEX: Membership of the ACMD 56 Formal minutes 58 Witnesses 59 Written evidence 59

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