The establishment of criminal sanctions for the production, distri- bution, and possession of certain drugs (for other than medical or scientific uses). This term is used in reference to the international drug control regime as defined by the UN conventions and treaties of 1961, 1971 and 1988, as well as domestic legislation (sanctions varying widely).
Most commonly used to describe the removal or non-enforcement of criminal penalties for use or possession of small quantities of drugs or paraphernalia for personal use (sometimes also used in reference to other minor drug offences). While no longer criminal, possession still remains an offence subject to administrative or civil sanctions, such as fines or referrals to services.
The process of ending prohibitions on the production distribution and use of a drug for other than medical or scientific uses. In the drug policy context ‘legalisation’ is generally used to refer to a policy position advocating ‘legal regulation’ or ‘legally regulated drug markets’ for currently prohibited drugs.
The set of legally enforceable rules that govern the market for a drug, involving application of different controls depending on drug risks and needs of local environments. Includes regulation of production (licensed producers), products (price, potency, packaging), availability (licensed vendors, location of outlets, age controls), and marketing (advertising and branding).
‘Harm reduction’ refers to policies, programs, and practices that aim to mitigate the negative health, social, and economic consequences of using legal and illegal psychoactive drugs, without necessarily reducing drug use.
Novel/New Psychoactive Substances (NPS)
Generally (although not exclusively) this term is used to describe recently emerging synthetically produced drugs used for nonmedical or scientific purposes, not subject to control under the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs 1961 and the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Drugs 1971 (although some Nation States may act unilaterally and regulate or prohibit certain NPS under domestic legislation).