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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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The nature of evidence in a politicised policy area

The nature of evidence in a politicised policy area

(p.89) Six The nature of evidence in a politicised policy area
Evidence versus politics

Mark Monaghan

Policy Press

This chapter presents an ACF-inspired analysis of the way that evidence was understood by key players in the policy process in relation to the 2004 cannabis policy change. This draws on subsequent events relating to broader interest in the UK drug classification system. The opening discussion focuses on the appreciations of evidence from the various perspectives identified in the previous chapter in relation to the initial reclassification of cannabis. This is followed by a summary of evidence utilisation in this particular subsystem. The discussion suggests that a plurality of different accounts of evidence can be ascertained. It then looks at how to explain the various accounts of evidence. The existence of a hierarchy of evidence is put forward here as a possible explanation, but ultimately ruled out on the grounds that appreciations of differing evidence are ideological as opposed to being primarily methodological.

Keywords:   ACF, 2004 cannabis policy, UK drug classification, evidence utilisation

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