50 mda landing 2

The Misuse
of Drugs Act 1971

The Misuse of Drugs Act will be 50 years old this year.

The Misuse of Drugs Act is the law that established our modern form of drug prohibition. After 50 years, it remains the basis for UK drug policy.

Every year it remains, billions of pounds will be wasted, thousands of lives lost, and countless people needlessly criminalised. This has to stop.

Let's create a better world for the future. Our families, friends and communities deserve drug policies that promote public health, human rights and social justice.


Statement for change

We will be asking MPs and Peers to use this anniversary as an opportunity to speak out on drug policy failures by signing up to the following statement:

The Misuse of Drugs Act (1971) is not fit for purpose. For 50 years, it has failed to reduce drug consumption. Instead it has increased harm, damaged public health and exacerbated social inequalities.

Change cannot be delayed any longer. We need reform and new legislation to ensure that future drug policy protects human rights, promotes public health and ensures social justice.

We want at least 50 MPs and Peers to support this message before the anniversary of the MDA passing into law on 27th May.

Help the campaign by writing to your MP.

History of UK
Drug policy

The Misuse of Drugs Act established a comprehensive, inflexible system of prohibition that has shaped our response to drug issues ever since.

Over the fifty years since it passed, we have seen huge changes in culture, drug availability, science and knowledge around harms. Throughout this period, harms have continued to increase, while the Government has repeatedly ignored calls for reform.

Our drug policy timeline sets out the history of UK drug policy since 1971 in detail.

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