About this website

Introduction to the website:This site is for people who want to develop their opinion on international drugs issues. Most information about drugs takes one side or the other. This makes it difficult for people who want to weigh up the arguments on both sides. In addition, much of this information is biased or of poor quality.To tackle these problems, this site takes the form of an informal argument map, see here for more information on argument maps.

What this site is: To begin there is a starter question which attempts to find out the attitudes towards illegal drugs you bring to this website.   .After the starter question, there are four pathways, each of which explores a different issue related to drugs. You can tackle as many of these as you like, in whichever order you like, but of course we hope you will look at all of them.The four pathways are:

  • What should the policy be towards illegal drugs looking at the UK
  • The impact of the transnational drug trade. Here we take the example of Mexico and the United States.
  • What if any public health support should be provided to drug users, taking the example of Russia.
  • The effect of the toleration of drug sales in coffee houses in the Netherlands.

We have based the stories on real life stories. Sources for the stories and for the facts and arguments are available on request from nef by emailing  thinkingdrugs@neweconomics.org

What this site is not:This site is not an opinion poll. Nor is a campaigning tool. The site is open to all, and we ask you for very little personal information, so we cannot hope to get a representative sample. Its main rationale, as we said above, is to help the individuals who use it explore the issues.

We want to encourage you to respond honestly. In order to discourage people from giving responses that they think will produce a particular answer, we won’t tell you directly how your answers change as a result of spending time on the site. Instead, at the end,we will simply summarise what your overall view appears to be, based on the answers that you have given.

About argument maps: For information on argument maps generally, see en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_map.

This version builds on paper prototypes developed by nef (the new economics foundation) . The advantage of this approach is that it provides a clear structure, within which are pairs of arguments, one on either side of the debate. The site enables people to rate the arguments and so to work out what their views are. 

Each pathway consists of a mixture of:

  • Stories – these give personal perspectives on the issue, to bring the issue to life
  • Facts – accepted statistical or legal / technical information.
  • Arguments - as we say above, these are in pairs, one on either side of the debate. we ask you to rate every argument, from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).   You don’t have to choose between them.
About this website