Views on drugs

In an article and an editorial, "Drug dealers 'can be beneficial', claims academic" (22 June) it is reported that I have suggested that drug dealing can have a positive impact on communities.

The report which this editorial and article are based upon is a review of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation's drug research programme. My own report was a detailed description of the multitude of studies undertaken in England and in Scotland within that programme and it is in reporting the views of a London-based research team that I outlined their view (not mine) that drug dealing can have some positive impact on communities.

It would have been quite wrong in reporting this research had I reported only those views that were congruent with my own – indeed, that is the responsibility of science, to be dispassionate in relation to the evidence. My own views on these and other matters will be published later this year in the book Controversies in Drugs Policy and Practice.


Professor of Drug Misuse Research

University of Glasgow