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Fifty years of the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971: the legislative contexts

Fifty years of the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971: the legislative contexts The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the history of relevant legislation before and after the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA).Design/methodology/approachA chronological narrative of laws and reports with concluding discussion.FindingsThat UK legislators have not made use of the evidence base available to them and have favoured enforcement rather than treatment approaches. That current UK practice has exacerbated not contain the use of and harms caused by illegal drugs.Research limitations/implicationsThe paper does not cover all relevant documents, especially those from non-governmental sources.Practical implicationsThe practical implications centre on the failure of consecutive governments to reflect on and review the impact of current legislation, especially on people who use drugs.Social implicationsThat the situations of people who use drugs are currently ignored by the government and those proven responses which save lives and reduce harm are rejected.Originality/valueThe paper attempts to show the historical contexts of control and dangerousness of which the MDA is one instrument. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Drugs and Alcohol Today Emerald Publishing

Fifty years of the UK Misuse of Drugs Act 1971: the legislative contexts

Drugs and Alcohol Today , Volume 21 (4): 14 – Dec 7, 2021

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References (5)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1745-9265
eISSN
1745-9265
DOI
10.1108/dat-08-2021-0038
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the history of relevant legislation before and after the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA).Design/methodology/approachA chronological narrative of laws and reports with concluding discussion.FindingsThat UK legislators have not made use of the evidence base available to them and have favoured enforcement rather than treatment approaches. That current UK practice has exacerbated not contain the use of and harms caused by illegal drugs.Research limitations/implicationsThe paper does not cover all relevant documents, especially those from non-governmental sources.Practical implicationsThe practical implications centre on the failure of consecutive governments to reflect on and review the impact of current legislation, especially on people who use drugs.Social implicationsThat the situations of people who use drugs are currently ignored by the government and those proven responses which save lives and reduce harm are rejected.Originality/valueThe paper attempts to show the historical contexts of control and dangerousness of which the MDA is one instrument.

Journal

Drugs and Alcohol TodayEmerald Publishing

Published: Dec 7, 2021

Keywords: Review; Legislation; Regulation; Control; Controlled substances; Evidence-based

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