Submission to Public Accounts Committee on Reducing the Harms from Illegal Drugs

Release partnered with Unjust UK to submit evidence to the Public Accounts Committee’s Inquiry into government’s progress implementing its 10-year drug strategy, which was published in 2021. We have published our complete thoughts on the strategy here. The Committee began hearing oral evidence on 30 November. Our submission was accepted as evidence and published to the Inquiry’s website here.

Our evidence addressed the core ambitions of the strategy which were identical to its 2010 and 2017 predecessors: decreasing demand, restricting supply and investing in treatment. We raised a number of concerns in relation to the government’s approach to realising these ambitions, specifically that all prior efforts to reduce supply and demand have categorically failed. We are particularly concerned about the nature of the government’s approach – to continue with criminalisation – which will continue to disproportionately impact those unjustly captured by the criminal legal system.