Upcoming and past events

The International Drug Policy Unit hosts wide and varied events, from public lectures that are free and open to the public to high level policy development events that are international and innovative.

Below you can find information about our upcoming and previous public events schedule. For information about private events, please contact us directly.

Upcoming events

Follow IDPU on Twitter for details of forthcoming events.


Past events 

2020 events


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COVID-19 and Illicit Markets - Hosted by LSE's public event series - COVID-19: The Policy Response
Tuesday, 02 June 2020, 2-3.30pm

The potential impact of COVID-19 on economic markets is well known and widely discussed. But what about the markets we know less about, namely illicit markets? Drug markets, policymakers and people who use drugs are facing an unprecedented situation. In this discussion we heard on-the-ground narratives and broader policy perspectives about how we might best respond.


2019 events



Ending the US Overdose Crisis: lessons from other times and places – co-hosted with LSE's US Centre
Tuesday, 22 October 2019

Some of the world’s leading experts on public health and drug policy came together to discuss how the US can learn the lessons of past policy failures and policies that provide greater hope to help end the overdose crisis.

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The Colour of Injustice: 'race', drugs and law enforcement in England and Wales - co-hosted with the Department of Social Policy
Monday, 20 May 2019

This event brings together stakeholders and experts from various sectors to discuss racial disparities in policing and drug law enforcement as well as a range of possible policy solutions.



Drug Wars and Strongman Politics – hosted by LSE Festival: New World (Dis)Orders
Thursday, 28 February 2019

As part of LSE Festival 2019 this public lecture will explore the wider issue of the disorder caused by ‘strongman’ politics, and the creative social responses to it. 


2018 events


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Understanding Recent Developments in North American Cannabis Policy – co-hosted with LSE's US Centre
Monday, 8 October 2018

Why has cannabis policy changed so radically in the USA and Canada in such a short period of time? Join us to understand the recent evolution of cannabis policy in North America. 

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Rethinking the Origins of the Drug War in Mexico  co-hosted with LSE's US Centre
23 February 2018

This public lecture re-evaluated the history of the drug war in Mexico by bringing together two eminent historians to examine the crucial developments of Mexican drug policy and its discourse on drugs over the past 100 years.

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New Approaches to Drugs Consumption Policies in Latin America – co-hosted with Canning House 
24 April 2018

This event examined new research around the efficacy of drug consumption policies from around the world and in Latin America in order to provide an overview of the evidence based policy toolkit available to policymakers as they examine the next steps for drug policies in the Americas.

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Drugs and (dis)order: Building sustainable peacetime economies in the aftermath of war 
23 March 2018

This was the launch event for new Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) project aimed at establishing a new approach to drug policy in three of the world’s largest drug-producing countries – Afghanistan, Colombia and Myanmar.

2017 events


Militarisation and the "War on Crime" 
7 November 2017

The deployment of armies, navies, military assets and militarised approaches can send a powerful message, but have produced mixed results.  This debate, co hosted between the LSE US Centre's International Drug Policy Unit and the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime discussed four different areas of criminality – wildlife crime, piracy, human smuggling and drug trafficking – to see how effective a militarised response can really be, and what might be lost as collateral damage.

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Revolutions in the Afghan Desert 
24 February 2017

The story of how vast areas of desert in Afghanistan have been transformed into farming land through the use of revolutionary new technologies in the poppy and opium trade. This event was part of an exhibition on the topic, and included insight from satellite imagery.


Drug Policies Beyond the 'War on Drugs'? 
15 February 2017

As countries examine new ways of managing drugs beyond the failed 'war on drugs' model, this event explored the future of drug policy and the role of LSE research in driving government policies around the world.

2016 events


After the Drug Wars report launch
15 February 2016

In this event, members of the LSE Expert Group on the Economics of Drug Policy set out a new framework for drug control based on the Sustainable Development Goals.




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Contact us


Telephone +44 (0)20 7107 5630


LSE International Drug Policy Unit, Centre Building, 10th floor, 2 Houghton Street, London, WC2A 2AD

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