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International Centre for Science in Drug Policy

Global scientific network working to improve community health & safety by informing illicit drug policies with the best available evidence.

The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (ICSDP) is a network of scientists and academics from all global hemispheres committed to improving the health and safety of communities and individuals affected by illicit drugs by working to inform illicit drug policies with the best available scientific evidence. By conducting research and public education on best practices in drug policy while working collaboratively with communities, policy makers, law enforcement and other stakeholders, the ICSDP seeks to help guide effective and evidence-based policy responses to the many problems posed by illicit drugs. The ICSDP strives to be a primary source for rigorous scientific evidence on the impacts of illicit drug policy on community health and safety. To this end, the ICSDP produces publications which adhere to the highest standards of peer-reviewed scientific research. The ICSDP also conducts public education campaigns about the need for evidence-based drug policies. The objective of these campaigns is to inform policymakers, affected communities, key stakeholders, and the general public on pressing current issues surrounding illicit drugs and drug policy. To learn more about the ICSDP and how your support can help improve the health and safety of communities and individuals affected by illicit drugs, please visit www.icsdp.org.
Canada's Drug Policy Failed Me As A Teenage Heroin

Canada's Drug Policy Failed Me As A Teenage Heroin Addict

Over the five years I spent seeking treatment, my family and I encountered a seemingly endless series of obstacles -- from programs that couldn't accommodate me, to waiting lists that lasted much longer than my desire to get clean -- all of which combined to feel like the treatment system was designed for me to fail.
03/31/2016 01:53 EDT
To Change Drug Policy, First Change the Way You Measure

To Change Drug Policy, First Change the Way You Measure It

It's become clear that the way countries evaluate their drug policies dictates the kinds of outcomes that governments are seeking to highlight. Simply put, reform begins with taking a hard look at what governments themselves are prioritizing in their drug policy evaluations.
01/22/2016 09:07 EST
Is Cannabis Tourism a Cause for

Is Cannabis Tourism a Cause for Concern?

As more and more places legalize and regulate cannabis, the wider implications of bringing the trade above ground have inevitably attracted scrutiny. A growth in tourism related to the drug is one such implication, and it's dividing opinion. It's time to shift the focus away from blanket opposition to legalization based on fears that it will lead to an influx of troublemakers intent on getting high. A regulated market would give policymakers the tools to combat -- or encourage -- cannabis tourism, as they see fit. The alternative is to allow organized criminals to continue managing the trade.
09/17/2015 08:20 EDT
Here's Why We Hear So Many False Claims About

Here's Why We Hear So Many False Claims About Cannabis

On the whole, my many years of research on substance use has taught me a major overarching lesson: we are much more likely to demonize drugs for their negative effects than consider their neutral or potentially positive impacts. Or -- in scientific terms -- there is a built-in bias in the scientific literature, textbooks, and popular press towards highlighting the negative aspects of drug use.
09/15/2015 12:16 EDT
How Cannabis Legalization Has Impacted Impaired

How Cannabis Legalization Has Impacted Impaired Driving

You've likely heard that regulating cannabis markets will lead to more stoned drivers on the road. Although the evidence in support of this claim is weak, it's repeated time and time again. So we thought we would ask members of law enforcement from Washington State what they think of this claim.
09/09/2015 05:30 EDT
Misinformed Cannabis Policies Prevent Access to Life-Saving

Misinformed Cannabis Policies Prevent Access to Life-Saving Treatments

My work as a scientist involves researching the potential impact of cannabis among people living with HIV/AIDS. Patients have told us for decades that marijuana helps them deal with the side effects of their medications. But now, in a preliminary study, we have found evidence to suggest that people who use cannabis are more likely to have slower HIV disease progression -- meaning that they can live longer and healthier lives.
08/21/2015 08:14 EDT
Want to Keep Marijuana Away From Teenagers? Regulate

Want to Keep Marijuana Away From Teenagers? Regulate it

As someone who went from a teenager who easily bought cannabis under prohibition to a budtender keeping cannabis out of the hands of teenagers, there is no doubt in my mind that regulation creates real barriers to teen access to cannabis. There is no gatekeeper in the illegal drug market. Drug dealers never check ID. Beyond accessibility, another common misconception is that regulation produces a wealth of brand new cannabis users who are trying the drug simply because it's legal to do so.
08/18/2015 12:58 EDT
We Must Separate Fact From Fiction in the Cannabis

We Must Separate Fact From Fiction in the Cannabis Debate

Conversations about cannabis policy are heating up. So it's no surprise that we suddenly seem immersed in claims and counterclaims on a slew of topics related to cannabis use and regulation. The International Centre for Science in Drug Policy has tasked itself with determining the strength of scientific support for such claims. Over the past year, we've been working diligently on scanning the news media and online conversations about cannabis to identify the most oft-repeated or high-profile claims including the ones above related to its use and regulation.
08/13/2015 07:58 EDT