Chatham House research on drugs and organized crime includes work on illicit drugs and international security as well as drugs policy reform, including UK drugs policy.
The drug policy debate has evolved more in recent years than it has for decades. A number of political obstacles remain to making recent developments sustainable but these should not be used as excuses for continuing with a failed status quo.
The international drug control system has been ineffective in reducing the size of the market and in preventing the emergence of new drugs and drug routes that cause and shift instability around the world.
And many drug policies have been counter-productive, often causing more harm than the drugs themselves through capital punishment for offences, widespread incarceration, discrimination in law enforcement, violation of basic human rights in forced 'treatment' centres, and opportunity costs.
A major programmatic focus of this work for Chatham House is carried out by the International Security Department and its projects.