"Global war on drugs has failed": report

Posted on June 3rd, 2011 by Global Ganja Report and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , .

earthA new report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy finds that the "global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world," and calls upon governments to explore the legalization of cannabis and other controlled substances. "Political leaders and public figures should have the courage to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately, that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem and that the war on drugs has not and cannot be won," the report states.

The 19-member commission includes former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, former US secretary of state George P. Shultz, former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker, former Mexican presidents Ernesto Zedillo, former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria, former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, current Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, Mexican writer Carlos Fuentes, Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa; and British business tycoon Richard Branson.

Instead of punishing users who "do no harm to others," the commission urges, governments should end criminalization of drug use, experiment with legal models that would undermine criminal cartels, and offer health and treatment services for users in need.

The commission is especially critical of the United States. But the office of White House drug czar Gil Kerlikowske responded that the report is misguided. Said spokesman Rafael Lemaitre of the Office of National Drug Control Policy: "Making drugs more available, as this report suggests, will make it harder to keep our communities healthy and safe."

The ONDCP cites statistics showing declines in US drug use in the past 30 years and a 46% drop in cocaine use among young adults in the past five. The report, in contrast, cited UN estimates that opiate use increased 34.5% worldwide from 1998 to 2008, cocaine use 27%, and cannabis use 8.5%. (AP, Colombia Reports, June 2)


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