Recreational drugs have played a key role in societies’ cultures and sub-cultures throughout the ages, but when use becomes abuse, how should societies react? Why are some drugs considered socially, and legally, acceptable and others not? Does legislation to control drug use actually work?

Professor Jim Mills (University of Strathclyde) considers the changing public perception of drugs such as cannabis and the factors which have influenced its longevity, including immigration, diplomacy, medical science, and politics.