International Drug Policy Unit Reports

The International Drug Policy Unit produces various reports including special reports featuring multiple contributions from academic and professional experts.

Latest reports:


Denying Revenue or Wasting Money? [PDF]
Assessing the impact of the air campaign against 'drug labs' in Afghanistan
April 2019

Following on from his 2018 report into the United States Forces in Afghanistan’s aerial bombings of Taliban heroin labs, David Mansfield conducts a forensic assessment of this campaign to determine whether it fulfilled its primary objective of denying revenue to the insurgency. Using video analysis, high-resolution imagery and in-depth interviews, Mansfield concludes that the campaign had a negligible effect on the Taliban’s finances, exacted little toll on drug trafficking organisations, and served to alienate the rural population.

The Colour of Injustice [PDF] 
‘Race’, drugs and law enforcement in England and Wales
October 2018

This report by StopWatch, Release, and LSE International Drug Policy Unit documents the disproportionate impact that drug law enforcement continues to have on black and minority ethnic communities in England and Wales.

Not Criminals [PDF] 
Underpinning a health-led approach to drug use
October 2018

This report by the Ana Liffey Drug Project and LSE International Drug Policy Unit calls for the decriminalisation of people who use drugs in Ireland. It highlights how treating possession of small amounts of drugs for personal use as a criminal offence is counterproductive in that it both fails to discourage drug use and acts as a barrier to seeking help and reintegration for those people who are using drugs.

Bombing Heroin Labs in Afghanistan [PDF] 
The Latest Act in the Theatre of Counternarcotics
January 2018

In November of 2017, the US initiated a bombing campaign against purported opium processing 'labs' in Afghanistan; United States Forces Afghanistan claimed that these strikes eliminated nearly $80 million of drug money from the Taliban. In this report David Mansfield draws on high resolution imagery and field research conducted after the first air strikes to question the efficacy of this new campaign and the logic that underpins it. He finds that contrary to official estimates, the campaign has had a negligible effect on the drugs trade and Taliban financing.

After the Drug Wars [PDF]
February 2016

In this report the LSE Expert Group on the Economics of Drug Policy sets out a framework for the future of international drug policy following the end of the 'War on Drugs' based on the Sustainable Development Goals. For more information click here.

Ending the Drug Wars [PDF] [ES]
May 2014

In this report the LSE Expert Group on the Economics of Drug Policy argue that it is time to end the ‘war on drugs’ and massively redirect resources towards effective evidence-based policies underpinned by rigorous economic analysis. For more information click here.

Governing the Global Drug Wars [PDF] / [ES]
October 2012

Since 1909 the international community has worked to eradicate the abuse of narcotics. A century on, the efforts are widely acknowledged to have failed. This special report looks at how this drug control system arose, why it has proven so durable in the face of failure, and whether there is hope for reform. For more information click here


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RT @LSEnews: Having been ridiculed for being weak and ineffectual in the face of social unrest in America’s major cities, the president see…

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