Casual Drug Use Seldom Harmful, British Study Says

London, United Kingdom: Few drug users suffer harmful effects from their use of marijuana or other substances, according to a British report released this week by London’s Foreign Policy Centre think-tank. The report, titled From War to Work: Drug Treatment, Social Inclusion and Enterprise, recommends shifting drug enforcement away from casual drug users and focusing instead on hardcore addicts and specific drug-related crimes.

“The vast majority of people are able to use drugs without harmful effects,” states the report’s author Rowena Young, Director of the Kaleidoscope drug treatment center. The report states that most drug users voluntarily cease using illicit substances before their use gets out of control, and advises law enforcement to “focus on problematic drug use and drug related crime, both nationally and internationally, and relax its stance towards recreational use among those for whom drugs are unlikely to become a problem.”

The Foreign Policy Centre study comes just days after the release of a report by Parliament’s Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) backing efforts by the British Home Office to downgrade marijuana possession to a non-arrestable offense. A forthcoming report by the British Home Affairs Select Committee is expected to make a similar recommendation regarding pot and possibly other drugs, including ecstasy. That report is due to be released later this spring.

For more information, please contact either Allen St. Pierre or Paul Armentano of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751. An abstract of the report is available online at the Foreign Policy Centre website at: