A new approach to formulating and appraising drug policy: a multi-criterion decision analysis applied to alcohol and cannabis regulation

Title: A new approach to formulating and appraising drug policy: a multi-criterion decision analysis applied to alcohol and cannabis regulation
Author(s): Rogeberg, O
Bergsvik, D
Phillips, LD
Van Amsterdam, J
Eastwood, N
Henderson, G
Lynskey, M
Measham, F
Ponton, R
Rolles, S
Schlag, AK
Taylor, P
Nutt, D
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: BACKGROUND: Drug policy, whether for legal or illegal substances, is a controversial field that encompasses many complex issues. Policies can have effects on a myriad of outcomes and stakeholders differ in the outcomes they consider and value, while relevant knowledge on policy effects is dispersed across multiple research disciplines making integrated judgements difficult. METHODS: Experts on drug harms, addiction, criminology and drug policy were invited to a decision conference to develop a multi-criterion decision analysis (MCDA) model for appraising alternative regulatory regimes. Participants collectively defined regulatory regimes and identified outcome criteria reflecting ethical and normative concerns. For cannabis and alcohol separately, participants evaluated each regulatory regime on each criterion and weighted the criteria to provide summary scores for comparing different regimes. RESULTS: Four generic regulatory regimes were defined: absolute prohibition, decriminalisation, state control and free market. Participants also identified 27 relevant criteria which were organised into seven thematically related clusters. State control was the preferred regime for both alcohol and cannabis. The ranking of the regimes was robust to variations in the criterion-specific weights. CONCLUSION: The MCDA process allowed the participants to deconstruct complex drug policy issues into a set of simpler judgements that led to consensus about the results.
Publication Date: 17-Feb-2018
Date of Acceptance: 25-Jan-2018
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/58452
DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.drugpo.2018.01.019
ISSN: 0955-3959
Publisher: Elsevier
Journal / Book Title: International Journal of Drug Policy
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/BY-NC-ND/4.0/)
Keywords: Alcohol
Drug policy
Multi-criterion decision analysis
Drug policy
Multi-criterion decision analysis
11 Medical And Health Sciences
17 Psychology And Cognitive Sciences
16 Studies In Human Society
Substance Abuse
Publication Status: Published online
Conference Place: Netherlands
Appears in Collections:Department of Medicine
Faculty of Medicine

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