The Dam Breaks: Established Politicians Turn Against the War on Drugs

Better late than never, leading national and international figures reject a decades long Drug War:

“Powerful and established drug control bureaucracies, both national and international, staunchly defend status quo policies,” the report states. “They seldom question whether their involvement and tactics in enforcing drug policy are doing more harm than good.” The zingers keep coming: “Meanwhile, there is often a tendency to sensationalize each new ‘drug scare’ in the media,” the report continues. “And politicians regularly subscribe to the appealing rhetoric of ‘zero tolerance’ and creating ‘drug free’ societies rather than pursuing an informed approach based on evidence of what works. Popular associations of illicit drugs with ethnic and racial minorities stir fear and inspire harsh legislation. And enlightened reform advocates are routinely attacked as ‘soft on crime’ or even ‘pro-drug.'”

Another key passage:

If use does increase with moves toward regulation—and the possibility cannot be discounted—it is worth recalling that the totality of associated social and health problems is still likely to decrease. The use of legally produced products in regulated environments will be intrinsically safer, the harm linked to both the illegal trade and punitive enforcement will be reduced, and obstacles to more effective health and social interventions removed.

This is an attack on the core logic of prohibitionists. In fact, the report even includes an unprecedented passage in which global elites attack the motives of other global elites who continue to stand in the way of long overdue reforms to the failed War on Drugs. “The regime, and policies adopted to support it since the 1960s, is premised on the criminalization of people who produce, sell or use drugs,” the authors declare. “After more than half a century of this punitive approach, there is now overwhelming evidence that it has not only failed to achieve its own objectives, but has also generated serious social and health problems. If governments are genuinely committed to safeguarding the safety, health, and human rights of their citizens, they must urgently adopt new approaches.”

Via Elder Statesmen Declare a War on the ‘War on Drugs’ @ The Atlantic.

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