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Review of harms caused by illicit substances

In December 2020, Tynwald resolved that:

'Tynwald is of the opinion that the Island’s approach to tackling the harms caused by illegal drugs should be informed by the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment on Drugs and Alcohol undertaken by the Government in 2017; and that the Minister with responsibility for Justice should bring forward a report to Tynwald no later than June 2021 setting out how a review of the Island’s approach to the harms caused by illegal drugs could be undertaken.'

Following this resolution a report by the Council of Minister’s Substance Misuse Steering Group (see link under downloadable documents) was brought to Tynwald in June 2021. That report outlined how a review of the Island’s approach to the harms caused by illegal drugs could be undertaken.

Following a debate in June 2021 Tynwald resolved that:

'Tynwald approves the proposed approach for a review of the harms caused by illegal drugs set out in the Report on a proposal for a review of the harms caused by illicit drugs; and agrees that further information on the likely costs and timescales for such a review be submitted to Tynwald no later than October 2021.'

In July 2022, the Minister for Justice and Home Affairs made a statement to Tynwald (see link under downloadable documents) confirming that the Public Health Institute (PHI) at Liverpool John Moore’s University has been appointed by the Department of Home Affairs to undertake a review of the harms caused by illicit drugs on the Island.

The aim of the study is to look at how common the use of illegal substances is, and the related harms to our society. This includes the impact on families, healthcare and the judicial system. This study will have a specific focus on cannabis.

The review will be used to inform the Council of Ministers’ considerations on drugs policy in the Isle of Man.

The research will aim to provide an overview of the interaction between health and criminal justice systems in relation to illicit drug use. It will also gather public views on alternative approaches to possession offences, including non-punitive approaches. The research proposal is available under the downloadable documents section of this page.

The final report will include all findings and a summary and interpretation of other reviews that have examined the outcomes of legislative change (including decriminalisation) in other countries.

Further details will be provided as the review progresses.

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