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Legislation and Policies

University: Imperial College London

  • Unit No: 23
  • Level: High school
  • Pages: 10 / Words 2481
  • Paper Type: Case Study
  • Course Code: 208POL/ 208POLSC/ 208POLEL
  • Downloads: 400
Question :

This sample will let you know about:

  • Discuss about the drug statistics and measures of harm.
  • Discuss about the Links between drug and crime
Answer :
Organization Selected : N/A


Drug legislation and policies

Drug addiction has become the most serious problem in the society, many people are taking drugs without having much knowledge about its consequences. There are many social and family issues arise if someone becomes addicted to any pills (Alpert, Powell and Pacula, 2018). Parents those who take drug or alcohol are unable to deal with their family members effectively. Their habit of taking drug has negative influence over family members. Government of country has made several laws to control over uses of drugs. Convention on Psychotropic substances 1971 describes that it is essential to remove such substances which are harmful for human being. But still some of these drugs are made and sold illegally hence if someone finds associated with it then there is strict punishment for the same. There are many countries where selling illegal drug is serious crime and for that individual can get the death penalty. Government of UK has made law misuse of drug act 1971 in which authorities explained various illegal drugs and have divided into several categories that is class A, B, C. If any firm sells heroin, crack cocaine etc. that is in the class A category then huge penalties need to be bear by concern firm or person. Production or supply of such class A drugs is serious offence hence court gives life imprisonment punishment to that person.

Psychoactive substances act 2016 is also introduced by government in which supply, production, offering drugs on custodial premises or import or export are strictly prohibited. If the person is using that drug, then it may affect person psychologically hence government has decided to give 7-year punishment to criminal (Brunt, 2017). But this legislation excludes several things such as alcohol, nicotine etc. from consideration of offence. Medicine act 1968 states that supply of such medicines are only allowed that are prescribed by medical professionals. There are few pharmacy medicines that can be sold by pharmacist without having prescription of doctors. General list of medicines can easily be supply by medical stores but they need to ensure following advertising and labelling policies regarding that drug. David Nutt claimed that many laws are made to protect people from consumption of dangerous drugs but those drugs are banned which are listed as illegal substances. But non-banned substances are still in market and many people use it which are affecting their mental and physical health badly. When some drugs are listed as illegal then manufacturers make changes in small chemical compound and create new substance. Government is unable to pay attention on these drugs hence existing legislation to control on uses of drugs are still not that much effective. For example, before 4 year Irish government has banned psychoactive substances but they have excluded tobacco and alcohol which are also equally dangerous for the human being. Take online assignment help in the UK from expert writers at the best price.

Customs and excise management act 1979 also introduced by government which states that person who is found with illegal or unauthorised import or export of that drugs which are considered as controlled drugs then person will be liable for penalty (Csete, Kamarulzaman and Hart, 2016). However, the decision taken by Home secretary to include mushroom in class a drug along with heroine and cocaine was crucial in drugs act of 1971. Moreover, he argued that in UK drug misuse policy is formed by government rather than the science department. this is the reason due to which there is high misuse of drugs.

Drug statistics and measures of harm

It has been analysed by David Nutt in article that there is high rise in intake of drug and its supply. Despite measures taken by government to control drug usage there is still increase in statistics. There are few pharmacy medicines that can be sold by pharmacist without having prescription of doctors.

He also said that use of alcohol will fall by 25% if coffee shops in UK are closed. This is because most shops use cannabis. Thus, there is high rise in its consumption. Alongside, cost of policing cannabis is only £500 million per year. However, as compared with policing of alcohol it is £6 billion a year.

There has been major harm due to use of drugs. From data it is stated that the number of deaths due to overdose of drug is 3256 in 2016 as compared to 3025 in 2015. In addition, drug law offences measured is 106,862 (Godlee and Hurley, 2016). Thus, it has highly affected on people mental and physical health. The health data shows affect of alcohol, heroine, etc. on mental health. Furthermore, people are getting engaged in criminal activity. Moreover, it has been stated that people suffer from many diseases like depression, anxiety, metal disorder, etc. it has led to rise in patient of mental health problems in UK. alongside, another harm is physical health in which people are suffering from disease such as heart, liver, etc.

Drug taking and wide social and family issues

In recent times, the people of UK are taking drugs to a large extent. There is still illegal selling of drugs in UK to minors and other people. There are many shops and cafes where cannabis is used and sold. Hence, people are consuming it is excessive way and also involved in criminal activity. Furthermore, people are highly influenced by behaviour of other. so, this is also a reason of drug taking. However, in society there are many issues that is prevailing. Due to that issues people are forced or attracted towards taking drugs. David Nutt in his article identified that people consume drug due to different family and social issues. In UK there are many issues which is concern for society (Hibbert, Brett and Hope, 2019). The common issue identified is domestic violence due to which drug is consumed. There is rise in number of domestic violence. Despite providing social and emotional support to people no difference is found in social issue.

David Nutt told that poverty and homelessness is also a social issue in drug taking. It has been evaluated that with increase in poverty, people are taking drugs. They are engaged in crimes and then spend money on consuming drugs. This social problem is impacting on society. However, homelessness is another issue in it. There are many people who are living in shelter homes. They are not having any family or relatives for supporting them. so, people do not get any social support from in case of needs. However, government and local bodies have provided shelter homes to homelessness people. But decrease in earning and low social lifestyle has widen scope of drug intake (MacGregor, 2017.). Take Examples of Assignments Now!!!

In UK there are many old age people living. They are either single person or living in care homes. Moreover, many of old people are suffering from some of mental health illness or disease. So, they intake drugs for enjoyment. David Nutt argued that the harmful impact of removing criminal sanctions on cannabis use would be relatively modest unless it was as actively marketed as alcohol, since almost half of young people already used the drug. He said he had argued in a Lancet paper that alcohol was the most harmful drug in Britain largely because of its frightening contribution to domestic violence, child abuse and road traffic accidents.

Approaches taken by other countries

It is said that there are certain approaches which are been taken by many countries to minimise excessive use of drugs (Nicholls, Cramer and Stevens, 2019). With help of approaches, it has become easy to control use and selling of drugs. The nation has formed policies and laws but are still unable to control intake of drugs. But along with it, some approaches are initiated as well related to control drugs in systematic way. David Nutt has defined some approached in his article as:

In UK only 4 hospitals are having license to use particular types of drugs. The government has formed strict policies and laws as well to regulate and control use of drugs. Moreover, the hospital can hold heroine. Furthermore, research done on cannabis is been restricted. But despite of these approaches that are taken in UK still cannabis is used by people illegally. This can be analysed from data that over 30,000 people use it for medical purpose. Here, another example can be taken of UK is MDMA was banned but in several head shops it was sold as analogues for recreational use. This is because legislation was very broad. In similar way, ketamine was developed for treatment of depression and there were other analogues as well which were banned.

Similarly, US have also taken some control measures in regard to therapeutic studies on cannabis (Stevens and Zampini, 2018). Now, cannabis products are sold under some strict regulations. In US as well there are only 3 department that hold license for drug. Moreover, in many other states of US there are some federal laws and legislation formed for medical cannabis legal in 33 states. Apart from it, in 14 other states have enforced laws to limit the use of THC content.

With help of these approaches it has been easy for UK and US to limit use of drugs. But the approaches are not successful enough. It is because of lack of support from government and ineffective monitoring and regulating of drugs. The government bodies are not actively participating in controlling use of drugs. Therefore, David Nutt criticise government for unsuccessful implementation of approaches. He told that UK government has failed in stopping use of drugs. 

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Links between drug and crime

With rise in use of drugs there is also rise in number of crimes as drug and crime are inter linked with one another. Also, due to misuse of drugs more and more people are highly involved in various types of crimes (Brewster and Jones, 2019). For many people drug use has become an addiction. it is stated that intake of drugs directly impacts on mental health. In many countries it is observed that due to misuse and illegal selling of drugs crime rate is increasing. As excessive use of drug impact on mental health of person he or she gets engaged in criminal activity. Also, within society when someone gets engaged in crime it affect on entire society. However, many people take drugs to get involve in criminal activity.

In a study done in UK it has been interpreted that approx. 50% of people arrested are for offences related to alcohol. The people are found positive by undergoing urine test. It was found that drugs taken are cannabis, cocaine, etc. Also, it is evaluated that 65% of those are tested positive. Thus, it clearly state link between drugs and crime. Likewise, in other countries such as US 50% of crimes are occurred due to drug usage (Smith and Riach, 2016). So, it clearly indicates that there is link between drug and crime. In addition to it, another approach is that it takes no notice of amount. This means that a single molecule of an illegal drug is illegal. This is already limiting PET research with new 5HT2A receptor tracers, where picogramme quantities required for tracer production (well below quantities having psychological effects) require licence. Likewise, research on the epidemiology of new psychoactive substances are been restricted because once they are made illegal, transferring tiny (sub-active) amounts between research labs becomes subject to complex licence and regulations of import and export. In the UK this type of licence is required for each and every drug separately which massively increases costs. Moreover, each are time limited to only 8 weeks so they need to be renewed repeatedly.Get online coursework help from our experts!

Innovation within drug market

Despites impose of strict laws and regulations of drug in UK there are innovations done in it. By reading the report of David Nutt now there is rise in cost of import license a most of the suppliers are from overseas (Csete, Kamarulzaman and Hart, 2016). Besides that, drug like LSD is sourced with proper guidelines. For that good manufacturing practice is used. In nation like US and Switzerland the drugs are sources under high purity. The chemistry department and producers act as providers.

The innovation done in that work related to cannabis has been delayed because it turned out that cannabis placebo is considered a class A drug in the UK. This meant that placebo had require licence and that import and export licence were then required for obtaining it from overseas suppliers. As this licence is valid up to only for 8 weeks, they commonly time expire before the university or the supplier have dealt with the contractual documents. There is currently a third licence for placebo cannabis and still awaiting supply. There are few pharmacy medicines that can be sold by pharmacist without having prescription of doctors. General list of medicines can easily be supply by medical stores but they need to ensure following advertising and labelling policies regarding that drug.

Thus, these innovation within drug market is changing context of control and use of drugs. It has restricted associations and medical agencies to conduct research on various drugs. Now, there are certain innovation as well in drug development (Godlee and Hurley, 2016). New drugs are been developed by doing experiment and testing of chemicals and other substances.


It can be summarised that Psychoactive substances act 2016 is formed by UK government along with customs and excise management act 1979. But due to lack of attention and ineffective control of policies, drug usages is increased. Furthermore, in UK society there are many issues that is prevailing such as domestic violence, poverty, homelessness, etc. So, due to that issues people are forced or attracted towards taking drugs. In UK only 4 hospitals are having license to use particular types of drugs and in US there are only 3 department that hold license for drug. Moreover, it has been interpreted that approx. 50% of people arrested are for offences related to alcohol. Alongside, it is evaluated that 65% of those are tested positive.

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