UK dark web drug purchases highlight ‘unrealistic’ government policy

A leading expert on drugs policy says the UK’s position among the world’s biggest buyers of drugs on the dark web shows government drugs policy to be ‘completely unrealistic’.

A leading expert on drugs policy says the UK’s position among the world’s biggest buyers of drugs on the dark web shows government drugs policy to be ‘completely unrealistic’.

Professor Alex Stevens, a criminologist at the University, said the Global Drug Survey 2018 – showing the UK only behind Finland and Norway for illicit dark web drug buying – highlighted the need for a review of policy.

Professor Stevens commented: ‘Given that we know that Britons are among the biggest consumers of illicit drugs in Europe, it is not surprising that they’re also among the biggest customers of dark websites which sell these substances.

‘This report shows again that the government’s ambition to create a ‘society free of drugs’ is completely unrealistic. The government does not know how to achieve this aim, according to research published by the Home Office itself.

‘It’s time the government followed the advice of countless expert groups and select committees and carried out a fundamental review of our drug laws.

Alex Stevens is Professor in Criminal Justice in the University’s School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research. He is a member of the UK Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs  and also President of the International Society of the Study of Drug Policy.