Drug policy around the world is a patchwork of approaches shaped by different cultural, political and social landscapes. It ranges from the national legal regulation of cannabis in Canada and Uruguay, through heroin prescribing in Switzerland, to open street shooting of anyone thought to be a drug user in the Philippines. The death penalty is also still widely used to punish drug-related activities in many countries.
Canada was the first G7 country to formally break ranks with its cannabis legalisation and regulation. Like Transform, the Canadian government believes this will offer young people better protection. Other countries have also shown leadership in by trying out policy innovations: Uruguay was the first country to legally regulate cannabis; Bolivia legalised and regulated coca; and New Zealand carried out pioneering experiments in regulating certain novel psychoactive substances (NPS).