Evidence based policy, liberalism and some Uruguayan political courage

Are we seeing some change in the way societies view drugs?

Last December Uruguay legalised cannabis, and in the US, the states of Colorado and Washington legalised cannabis for personal use in 2012. The Netherlands has, for some time, allowed cannabis use in specialist coffeeshops. Of course, none of these examples have opted for free and unfettered access for all, but rather a regulated system where the authorities can exert control. The Uruguayan plan includes a user registry, a tax, and quality control, with the aim of reducing profits for organised crime, and reducing drug related violence.

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Re-balancing the economy: building the skills base in Engineering and Science

Engineering Student

Liberal Democrats are deservedly pleased that the British economy is turning the corner, both in terms of growth and employment. But how can we ensure that we maintain and improve on this trend? Aldes are concerned that one of the greatest threats to maintaining sustainable growth and prosperity is the skills gap, where the UK is unable to meet the demand of employers for high-value technical and industrial skills.

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A response to Chris Huhne on fracking

Chris Huhne, former Energy and Climate Change Secretary and member of ALDES, recently wrote this critique of fracking in the Guardian.

Personally, I don’t like the abrasive and sarcastic tone of it but he makes some very valid points nonetheless. In particular he points out that the USA is disconnected from the world’s gas market allowing a local surplus to cause gas prices (and coal prices) to drop in the USA. The UK, in contrast, is very connected indeed and even if we did produce masses of Shale Gas at reasonable cost it will not be enough to depress gas prices all over Europe and beyond.

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