Unharm was founded in 2014. At the time, Executive Director Will Tregoning was working on drug policy as a research consultant to government, and becoming frustrated that while the War on Drugs had failed, there was no real alternative. Despite promising reforms worldwide, the discussion about drugs was based on dishonesty about who used drugs and why. Characteristically, privileged people were relatively immune from the harms of prohibition. Combined with the risks of admitting to illegal drug use, that meant many with the capacity to help weren’t getting involved. Journalist and author Lisa Pryor wrote about these issues in her 2011 book A small book about drugs. In conversation, Will and Lisa came up with the idea for Unharm and brought in co-founders Miles Hunt, a lawyer and activist, and Gideon Warhaft, an entrepreneur with a long involvement in drug policy. They established Unharm as a not-for-profit, volunteer-run organisation in 2014.