The eclectic nature of spatial planning encompasses almost every issue facing the contemporary city, from children’s diet to the planet’s future. However, it is perplexing that illegal drugs, given their deleterious spatial and social consequences, do not occupy the mindset of planners. Our study demonstrates that drugs are a planning problem. Now is the time for the international planning community, in the academe and profession, to actively engage with other academic researchers and policy makers to bolster their ‘disciplinary knowledge’ of the ‘drugs question’. This paper is a starting point in stimulating contributions from others who can assist us in driving forward this fascinating but untapped topic. This transition in planning pedagogy could facilitate a significant development in the ‘planning imagination’ and offer opportunities for ‘better planning outcomes’. The drugs-planning nexus is globally relevant, cutting edge, boundary pushing and, in a polemic style, we anticipate it will lead to a ground breaking trajectory in planning theory and practice. The insights from this study are relevant to a global audience who are interested in a high profile but as yet seriously unexplored challenge facing society and space, of which planners are the intellectual and practical custodians.