Read the letter in full here:
Sir, The forthcoming general election has pleasingly been about more than Brexit, but one vital policy has been conspicuously absent from the party manifestos and campaigns, with the exception of the Liberal Democrats. Given that drug-related deaths are at an all-time high and presentations for mental health conditions related to drug use are rising at alarming rates, it is remarkable that there has been no debate about how these issues might be addressed.
Over the past decade across the world there has been an unprecedented wave of drug policy reforms. Local initiatives, from adoption of de facto decriminalisation by police, to drug-safety testing services, to supervised consumption rooms, are rising to meet the problems central government is ignoring, and even exacerbating through defunding of drug services.
Our next government cannot avoid dealing with the impact of decades of ineffective public policy relating to drugs. This campaign suggests that most parties are a long way from the hard thinking that this will require. We call upon all parties to state how they will address the escalating crises arising from current drug policy.
List of Signatories:
Nicky Saunter, chief executive, Transform Drug Policy Foundation
Neil Woods, chairman, Law Enforcement Action Partnership UK
Professor Mike Barnes, consultant neurologist
Sam Bowman, executive director, Adam Smith Institute
Dr Robert Ralphs, senior lecturer in criminology, Manchester Metropolitan University
Amanda Feilding, director, Beckley Foundation
Paul Birch, founder, Volteface
Tim Colbourne, director of policy, Open Reason
Professor Fiona Measham, director and co-founder, The Loop
John Liebling, political director, UPA