Dr Melissa Bone

Associate Professor

Melissa Bone

School/Department: Leicester Law School

Telephone: +44 (0)116 252 2332



LLB (EU) (University of Leicester) MSc (University of Leicester) PhD (University of Manchester)

I am an Associate Professor at the University of Leicester having joined the Law School in 2015. I obtained my PhD at the University of Manchester and my PhD research was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). I am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy an Academic Advisor for the Leicester Student Law Review and I am involved with the Reel law initiative.


I have written a book for Routledge based on my PhD research which is entitled: Human rights and drug control: a new perspective. In 2018 I attained a £300000 research grant from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as a co-investigator for a project entitled “Drug Policy Voices”. This project explores how to engage people who use drugs in drug policy debates and reform discussions. More details about the project and our podcast series can be found on our website:

I am a committee member of the Criminal Law Reform Now Network: and I am currently leading a project on "Reforming systemic responses to controlled drugs". I am also a member of the policy advisory council for the Conservative Group for Drug Policy Reform: I advise this group on developing drug policy from a human rights perspective.

My current research also explores the legal landscape of cannabis social clubs throughout Europe cannabis activism and medical cannabis laws in the UK.


M. Bone, M. Pardal, Ò. Parés, T. Decorte 'Cannabis social clubs in Europe: A transnational movement in the making?' In The Routledge handbook on Cannabis social clubs, Routledge, Oxon (2022)

Askew, R. Griffiths B. Bone, M. 'The importance of PEOPLE who use drugs within drug policy reform debates: Findings from the UK Drug Policy Voices online survey' International Journal of Drug Policy. July 2022.

Bone, M., and Potter, G. (2021) ‘Medical Cannabis in the UK: the (false) dawn of a new era?’ in J. Meisel and D. Corva (Eds) The Routledge Handbook of Interdisciplinary Cannabis Research. Routledge.  

Pardal, M., Bone, M., Decorte, T. et al. Hidden and uninterested populations: Methodological insights and unresolved issues from the study of Cannabis Social Clubs. Methodological Innovations. September 2020. doi:10.1177/2059799120976963

Pardal, M., Decorte, T., Bone, M., Parés, Ò., Johansson, J. (2020) ‘Mapping Cannabis Social Clubs in Europe’ The European Journal of Criminology. July 2020. doi:10.1177/1477370820941392

Bone, M. (2020) Human rights and drug control: A new perspective. (Oxon: Routledge).

Askew, R. and Bone, M. (2019) ‘Deconstructing prohibitionist ideology: A sociocognitive approach to understand opinions on UK drug policy and the law’ International journal of drug policy 74: 33-40. Available online doi:10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.08.001

Bone, M. and de Hoedt G. (2018) ‘Being the change: charting Greg de Hoedt’s cannabis journey’ Drugs and Alcohol Today 18(2): 126-136 Available online doi:10.1108/DAT-01-2018-0001

Bone, M., Potter, G., and Klein, A. (2018) ‘Introduction: cultivation, medication, activism and cannabis policy’ Drugs and Alcohol Today 18(2): 73-79 Available online doi:10.1108/DAT-03-2018-0014

Bone, M., and Seddon, T. (2016) ‘Human Rights, Public Health and Medicinal Cannabis Use’ Critical Public Health 26(1): 51-61. Available online doi:10.1080/09581596.2015.1038218

Bone, M. (2014) ‘Is the medicinal consumption of cannabis effectively regulated from a human rights perspective?’ in M. Bone Ping Y. and Mungroo P. (Eds) Cannabis Regulation: The World is Moving Forward What is Stopping Us? (London: House of Lords)

Bone, M. (2014) ‘From the Sacrilegious to the Sacramental: A Global Review of Rastafari Cannabis Case Law’ in Labate Beatriz C. & Cavnar Clancy (Eds) Prohibition, Religious Freedom, and Human Rights: Regulating Traditional Drug Use. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer.


I would be happy to supervise students on topics related to drug policy human rights criminal law and the criminal justice system.


Criminal Law

Law Justice and Society (module co-convenor)

Press and media

I would be happy for journalists to contact me on topics related to drug policy reform.


Policy Advisory Council member for the Conservative Group for Drug Policy Reform:

Committee member of the Criminal Law Reform Now Network and project lead for the Drugs Regulation project commencing in 2022:

Member of the International Society for the Study of Drugs Policy:

Media coverage

I have been interviewed for the following features:

Vice (2022) "The UK's war on cocaine is intensifying"

Rolling Stone UK (2021) "Can the UK turn over a new leaf on cannabis?"

Cannabis Health (2020) "Access to medical cannabis is a human rights issue

Vice (2017) "The important drug debate question that nobody's asking

Back to top