Source: Al Jazeera
A high-level international commission has declared the global “war on drugs” to be a failure, and has urged countries to consider legalising certain drugs, including cannabis, in a bid to undermine organised crime.
The Global Commission on Drug Policy, in its report released on Thursday, called for a new approach to the current strategy of reducing drug abuse by strictly criminalising drugs and incarcerating users.
It said the new approach should focus on battling the criminal cartels that control the drug trade, rather than targeting drug users.
“The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world,” the report said.
The study urged “experimentation by governments with models of legal regulation of drugs”, adding: “This recommendation applies especially to cannabis, but we also encourage other experiments in decriminalisation and legal regulation.”
Illegal drug use
About 250 million people worldwide use drugs that are currently deemed illegal, with less than a tenth of them classified as “dependent”. Millions are also involved in the cultivation, production and distribution of drugs, according to the United Nations estimates quoted in the report.
The study said decriminalisation initiatives have not been accompanied by a significant spike in drug use, citing the implementation of such policies in Australia, Portugal and the Netherlands.
“Now is the time to break the taboo on discussion of all drug policy options, including alternatives to drug prohibition,” Cesar Gaviria, the former Colombian president, said.