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Rethinking global drug policies

Global Commission On Drug Policy

I have been invited to join the Global Commission on Drug Policies. We are going to be examining whether the war on drugs over the last 100 years has succeeded or not.

We will be looking at what recommendations we can make to governments to have a different approach to the problem. Have the existing laws worked? What should we be doing differently to tackle the problem?

This will involve looking at whether drug rehabilitation is a better method than prison sentences, and whether there could be a more humane and successful approach to the problem than has been used in the past.

The consequences of the last 100 years of drug policy are enormous. Hundreds of thousands of people have been incarcerated in prisons and organised crime has seemingly got stronger year on year rather than weaker. The amount the underworld makes from drugs globally is in the region of $323 billion.

Numerous lives have been ruined. There is a racial aspect to the war on drugs that needs to be looked at, as well as issues such as drugs not being regulated. A quarter of a million more people die from AIDS every year from needle sharing.

It is certainly time to have a rethink. The Commission will be drawing fact-based conclusions, formed from statistics and experts opinions on a global basis. We will come out with a report later this year based on those recommendations.

This is a worldwide issue. The Commission will be formed by people from around the globe, looking at the problem of drugs on a worldwide basis and giving recommendations on a global scale.

Brazil's ex-president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who is also one of The Elders, invited me to join the Commission, which I am honoured to be part of.

The date for the next meeting of the Global Commission on Drug Policies is in New York on June 2nd and 3rd.

This is an incredibly important subject, certainly worthy of debate.

 

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