In Classification of Drugs: when science was left behind, the Global Commission on Drug Policy explains how the historical classification of psychoactive substances has contributed to the "world drug problem".
It is the first-ever comprehensive report providing a political reading of the current evaluation and classification, or "scheduling" of drugs according to their harms.
Psychoactive substances should be classified with regard to their potential for dependence and other harms. This is not the case today, where some substances are legally available because they are considered beneficial (medicines) or culturally important (alcohol), while others are seen as destructive, and are strictly prohibited. The classification of drugs is at the core of the international drug control system. As such, governments must ensure that such a classification is pragmatic and based on science and evidence, makes clear the benefits and harms of drugs, and allows for responsible legal regulatory models to control drugs.