The Policy Impact Unit has an established record of supporting local, national, and international drug policy development through research and outreach employing a translational research approach.

From Research to Policy

In adopting a translational approach, the Policy Impact Unit seeks to provide relevant policy guidance based on evidence- and right-based approaches to drug policy. Knowledge users – such as policymakers from local to international levels, affected communities, and civil society – play a key role in informing research questions and priorities for investigation and outreach by the Policy Impact Unit. Recent focuses for research and outreach include equity in the regulation of adult cannabis markets, as well as drug policy evaluation at national and international levels.

Are you seeking support to maximize the effectiveness of drug policy development? The Policy Impact Unit is available to provide input and consultation to policymakers, as guided by the best available evidence and practice. If interested, please reach out to policyimpact@cdpe.org.

International Engagement

At the global level, the Policy Impact Unit conducts advocacy at United Nations (UN) proceedings on global drug control with particular emphasis on the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND), World Health Organization, and United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Alongside national and global civil society partners, the Policy Impact Unit conducts outreach and policymaker engagement to support the adoption of international drugs policies that advance the health and human rights of people who use drugs and other communities affected by drugs and drug policy. From organizing high-level events with Member States, to serving on official government delegations to UN meetings, the Policy Impact Unit works in partnership with knowledge users to advance policy priorities within the international drug control regime.

Civil Society Inclusion

The Policy Impact Unit supports a number of initiatives to foster greater and more meaningful inclusion of civil society and affected communities in the development and evaluation of drug policy approaches. Select examples include contributing to the CND Blog and serving on the Executive Committee of the New York NGO Committee on Drugs, a global committee that supports civil society engagement on drug policy at the UN and represents 100+ organizations.

Financial Supporters

Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction | Canadian Institutes of Health Research | Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse | Health Canada | MAC AIDS Fund | Open Society Foundations | Ontario Cannabis Store


Canadian Association of People who Use Drugs | Canadian Drug Policy Coalition |  HIV Legal Network | Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy | Drug Policy Alliance | Global Drug Policy Observatory | Government of Canada | Instituto RIA | International Drug Policy Consortium | New York NGO Committee on Drugs | Toronto Public Health | Transform Drug Policy Foundation | University of Toronto

Project Contact

Nazlee Maghsoudi