Drug policy under New Labour 1997-2010: Prolonging the war on drugs
In 1997 New Labour came to power with a landslide victory. This period also marked a watershed for illicit drug use which had become so widespread across the UK that it was regarded as a mainstream adolescent experience. However, broadly speaking there were two groups of drug users: one group of young people who selectively used drugs on a recreational and largely non-problematic basis; while another group (usually unemployed and socially excluded), who used whatever drugs they could find in a chaotic and problematic manner. Drug taking had become a normalized activity and criminalization of these drugs seemed unenforceable, out of touch and inappropriate. Inheriting an unworkable 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act 1997 seemed an opportune time for the New Labour government to deliver on its ‘promise of change’ and introduce drug legislation fit for the new millennium. This article reflects upon some of the key policy and legal changes introduced by the New Labour government (1997—2010) to manage drug use and misuse.
Criminal Law | Public Health | Social Work | Substance Abuse and Addiction
Buchanan, J. (2010) “Drug policy under New Labour, 1997-2010: Prolonging the war on drugs”. Probation Journal Special Edition, 57(3), 250-262
Digital Commons Citation
Buchanan, Julian, "Drug policy under New Labour 1997-2010: Prolonging the war on drugs" (2010). Social Inclusion Research Unit. Paper 22.