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Evidence versus politicsExploiting research in UK drug policy making?$
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Mark Monaghan

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9781847426970

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847426970.001.0001

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Competition, conflict and controversy in the making of UK drug classification policy

Competition, conflict and controversy in the making of UK drug classification policy

Chapter:
(p.43) Four Competition, conflict and controversy in the making of UK drug classification policy
Source:
Evidence versus politics
Author(s):

Mark Monaghan

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847426970.003.0004

This chapter provides background information to the case study through which the complex nature of evidence utilisation is explored. It charts the origins and the impact of the implementation of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 (MDA 1971) and points out that the passing of the MDA 1971 created the first UK government drugs advisory board. The chapter goes on to explain how, until recently, the Act remained relatively stable despite significant perturbations in the UK drug scene from the 1980s onwards. Following on from this, it covers the developments in UK drug policy in light of the election of the New Labour government in 1997. The chapter also documents the centrality of drug classification issues in contemporary drug debates and how this links to the evidence-based policy movement. In effect, the 2004 cannabis reclassification, it argues, witnessed a collision between UK drugs policy and the evidence-based endeavour.

Keywords:   evidence utilisation, MDA 1971, UK drugs policy, New Labour, evidence-based policy, cannabis reclassification

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