End global war on drugs, bring in decriminalization to protect human rights

End global war on drugs, bring in decriminalization to protect human rights, says report


The global war on drugs has failed, eroding public health and human rights, and must be scrapped in favor of decriminalization, a report commissioned by a leading medical journal says.

Anti-narcotics efforts have had little impact on global patterns of supply and demand and cannot be defended on public health or scientific grounds, according to academics who worked on a hard-hitting study jointly commissioned by the Lancet and America’s Johns Hopkins Ivy League University.

The report uncovers compelling evidence that EU states such as the Czech Republic and Portugal have achieved positive results from decriminalizing non-violent, minor drug offenses. Portugal, in particular, decriminalized the personal use of drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, and heroin in 2001.

Benefits reportedly include improved public health, lower rates of imprisonment, money saving and “no significant increase in problematic drug use,” the report’s authors say.

After examining evidence from across the globe, the study concluded that drug laws often discriminate against ethnic and racial minorities and women and have undercut basic human rights. The report also highlights prison terms for those who commit minor drug offenses as the biggest contributor to increased infection rates of HIV and hepatitis C among drug users.

The study’s authors are calling on the US and the UK to consider introducing regulated markets for the sale of cannabis similar to those found in Uruguay and the US states of Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska.

 Dr Chris Beyrer of Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health says prohibition has been the foundation of national drug laws. Beyrer also argued counter-narcotics policies across Europe and America focus on ideas relating to drug use and dependence that have no scientific grounding.

“The global ‘war on drugs’ has harmed public health, human rights and development,” he said.

“It’s time for us to rethink our approach to global drug policies, and put scientific evidence and public health at the heart of drug policy discussions.”

The report marks yet another drive for changes to UK drug laws, a move which has been put forward by ex-Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg and British billionaire, businessman Richard Branson. Experts suggest that legalizing cannabis in Britain could rake in up to £1 billion in taxes.

2 Responses

  1. My God actual common sense ? It will never work here and if we didn’t have these prohibitions it could put the poor Dealers, Drug cartels and the DEA out of work !

  2. Great reporting here, from “Russia Today” news. The Russians have experience with prohibition. It used to be against the law there, to own things. The people in power controlled land, factories, farms, and other enterprises…but hid the fact that they owned these things, to protect a myth called “Communism”.

    23 years ago, the myth broke down catastrophically and Russia went broke. Former Soviet leader Brezhnev’s own son, was prosecuted for money laundering. Somehow, the entire cotton harvest of Uzbekistan, a place the size of the US State of Mississippi, vanished without a trace. No record how much was planted. No record how much was harvested, No record of who bought it or what they paid. Just $12 million sitting in a Swiss bank account belonging to Brezhnev’s son..,which was someone’s share of the loot from the deal.

    Re-legalizing private ownership has solved a lot of problems. Most Russians are still rather poor. But nobody there is starting wars to distract attention from missing money. That’s more a problem here in the US, and we bneed to solve it, the way Russia solved it. Legalize doing what it takes for people to stay alive, and people will try to provide it for themselves. Keeping it illegal, is harmful to everyone.

    In the end, even the police suffer the effects, of a policy that outlaws what people need…because respect for the law itself, vanishes, when politicians sell laws to the highest bidder.

    Russia dug itself out of disaster, by re-legalizing ownership.

    America can dig itself out of disaster, by re-legalizing access to medicines.

    The size of the eventual disaster, is limited only by our will to stop making it worse, and face the problems we’ve already created.

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