The Academy of Government supported the early development of the Scottish Drugs Policy Conversations, which address changing patterns of drug use and related harm, developments in policy and practice in Scotland and other countries, new research findings as well as fresh ideas and questions. This initiative results from discussion among a range of stakeholders, prompted by:

  1. continued debate about the appropriateness and effectiveness of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 in preventing drug-related harm, informed by both national and international reviews and declarations;
  2. the broader context of devolution and constitutional change and the uncertain scope and extent of policy autonomy in respect of drugs in Scotland;
  3. the emergence of a new politics of civic engagement centred on deliberative discussion and involving stakeholders from all parts of society.