Policy Impact Unit
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 the regulation of adult cannabis markets and 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Canadian Institutes of Health Research | Canadian Research Initiative in Substance Misuse | Health Canada | MAC AIDS Fund | Open Society Foundations
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
- Submission to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights on People in Canada of African Descent
- Detecting and Responding to New Psychoactive Substances: Experiences of Frontline Health Services in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (UN Statement)
- Supporting Health and Human Rights in Drug Policy: Brief to the Minister of Health and Canadian Delegation to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (63rd session)
- Supporting Health and Human Rights in Drug Policy: Brief to the Minister of Health and Canadian Delegation to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (62nd session)
- UN Green Lights Medicinal Cannabis, Fails to Challenge Colonial Legacy of its Prohibition
- Canada’s Legal Cannabis Industry Lacks Diversity, A New Policy Brief by the Centre on Drug Policy Evaluation and the University of Toronto Finds
- New Report from Canada’s Drug Futures Forum Outlines Recommendations for the Next Decade of Drug Policy in Canada
- New Policy Brief Provides Guidance to States on Aligning Regulation of Recreational Cannabis Markets With International Legal Obligations
The CDPE has conducted an international cross comparison of illegal drug policies to create an online tool – the Drug Policy Metrics Map – to demonstrate the alignment and gaps between the metrics that countries use to assess the success of their drug policy and the actual drug policy-related outcomes they experience.View
How Diverse is Canada’s Legal Cannabis Industry? Examining Race and Gender of its Executives and Directors
The aim of this project was to examine the race and gender of c-suite level executives and boards of directors of licensed cannabis producers and their parent companies operating in the Canadian cannabis industry, in order to assess whether the promise of an equitable legal cannabis market has been achieved.View
Impact Evaluations of Drug Decriminalisation and Legal Regulation on Drug Use, Health and Social Harms: A Systematic Review
Given increasing interest in quantifying the impact of drug law reform, as well as a lack of systematic assessment of outcomes beyond adolescent cannabis use to date, we conducted a systematic review of original peer-reviewed research evaluating the impacts of (a) legal regulation and (b) drug decriminalisation on drug availability, use or related health and social harms. Our primary aim is to characterise studies with respect to metrics and indicators used. The secondary aim is to summarise the findings and methodological quality of studies to date.View
This report synthesizes dialogue generated by speakers at the Canada’s Drug Futures Forum and outlines recommendations for the next ten years of Canadian drug policy from over 200 attendees including policymakers, public health officials, law enforcement professionals, researchers, people who use drugs, and community organizers.View
Recreational Cannabis Regulation & International Law: Scenarios for States Parties to the UN Drug Conventions
This policy brief from the CDPE and the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto provides guidance to national governments seeking to align domestic legalization and regulation of recreational cannabis markets with their international legal obligations.View