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Drugs: Research

Volume 496: debated on Tuesday 1 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will evaluate for comparative purposes research carried out into the effects of the policies on drugs adopted by the Portuguese government in 2001 on levels of (a) drug-taking, (b) drug-smuggling and (c) other drug-related crime in that country. (288689)

Both British and Portuguese drugs strategies recognise the importance of a balanced approach to tackling the demand for and the supply of drugs, placing an emphasis on the needs of the individual drug user and using the criminal justice system to identify and direct drug users into treatment programmes.

There are no plans to undertake a specific comparative evaluation of the Portuguese drugs policies, although we will note with interest any emerging evidence from the Portuguese approach.