Fourth International Seminar of the series ‘Society and Drugs: A Rational Perspective’

House of Lords, London, 25 October 2004.


This seminar, held at the House of Lords, Palace of Westminster, London, on 25 October 2004, was the first Beckley Foundation seminar with an international focus, concentrating specifically on global drug policy, with a targeted audience of esteemed policymakers, academics, and NGO representatives from around the world.

The seminar focused on the development of methods for the independent and objective review of the effectiveness of policies and programmes aimed at tackling drug problems. The Beckley Foundation brought together this select group of drug policy experts to consider the latest evidence in this field, and in particular the evaluation framework for the next European Union Drug Strategy due to be launched at the end of the year.

The seminar was also used as an opportunity to launch an International Drug Policy Consortium of non-governmental organisations and professional networks, and the International Society for the Study of Drug Policy to facilitate and disseminate future reports and seminars. Both organisations are now well-respected and influential independent bodies.


Morning Session – Chairman Jan Wiarda

Introduction and Overview, Mike Trace

How Can Research Improve Drug Policy? Professor Peter Reuter, University of Maryland

Assessing the Harm of All Social Drugs, Professor Colin Blakemore, Chief Executive, Medical Research Council

Drug Policies to Minimise Aggregate Harm, Professor Mark Kleiman, UCLA


National Perspectives

Responding to Drugs – How? Professor Margaret Hamilton, University of Melbourne

The Truth has Sometimes to be Suspended, Jan Wiarda

Prospective Drug Policies, Viktor Cherkesov, Chairman, Federal Control of Narcotics of the Russian Federation

Morning discussion


Afternoon Session – Chairman Michael Portillo M.P.

The New EU Drug Strategy, How to Create a Meaningful European Policy Framework, Franz Trautmann, Head of International Affairs Unit, Trimbos Institute

No Reason to Make the Same Mistake Twice, Josef Radimecky, National Drug Policy Co-Ordinator, Czech Republic

Summing Up, Mike Trace

Afternoon discussion





Download the whole Proceedings Document

Download Executive Summary by Amanda Feilding – Director of the Beckley Foundation

Download biographies of speakers

Download a list of participants in the seminar

Download preface

Download the Beckley Foundation Drug Policy Programme Principles