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The Role of Research Evidence in Drug Policy Development in Australia

Alison Ritter orcid id ; University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Puni tekst: engleski pdf 112 Kb

str. 141-156

preuzimanja: 735



The mantra of “evidence-based policy” is continuing to gain ground, with calls for public policy to be informed by scientific evidence. However, in many areas of public policy the role of evidence and science is highly contested. This is amply demonstrated in the area of illegal drugs policy. Illegal drugs policy, concerned with governments’ approaches to controlling the sale and use of drugs such as heroin, cocaine, and cannabis, is a highly contested area, and hence a fruitful case example of the complexity of policy. The features of illicit drug policy explored in this paper are: government actors, which span multiple departments; political ambivalence and multiple stakeholders outside government; community attitudes and a high media profile. These features need to be taken into account in understanding the relationship between policy and research evidence. In this context, the role of research evidence can be fraught. Examination of a number of current ‘hot topics’ in drug policy demonstrates the variety of ways in which evidence is used in drug policy processes.

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evidence-based policy; illicit drugs

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