THE GOVERNMENT'S DRUGS POLICY: IS IT WORKING?
265. The United Kingdom is one of many signatories
to several international treaties on drugs, which constitute a
fairly restrictive cradle around our own legislative regime. Significant
changes, such as the legalisation of some or all drugs, could
not be pursued unilaterally without transgressing the treaties,
and could therefore only follow their renegotiation.
266. Having said this, the treaties do not lay
down specific control mechanisms within the basic premise of criminality
of drug possession and supply. With this in mind, there is actually
substantial "room for manoeuvre" within the treaties
for change to the UK's regime. In fact, all of our recommendations
could be implemented without breaching the treaties or requiring
their renegotiation. In the long term, however, we believe the
time has come for the international treaties to be reconsidered.
The Commission on Narcotic Drugs is the central policy-making
body within the United Nations system dealing with drug-related
matters. It compiles biannual reports on the global drug situation
and develops proposals to strengthen the international drug control
267. We recommend that the Government initiates
a discussion within the Commission on Narcotic Drugs of alternative
waysincluding the possibility of legalisation and regulationto
tackle the global drugs dilemma.