Global Comission releases report and calls for shift on Drug Policy

setembro 9, 2014

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Global Commission on Drug Policy (GCDP) met on Tuesday (9) in New York to release and deliver to the United Nations (UN) the report “Under Control: Pathways to Drug Policies that Work” (Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policies That Work). The document claims that governments decriminalize and legalize drug use.

The report contains a series of recommendations for changing the current drug policy and was delivered to the Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon. The document was released in anticipation of the UN General Assembly on Drugs (UNGASS) Special Session, scheduled for 2016. Committee members expect the organization to consider the observations when changing global drug policy.

The committee members, including Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, the former Federal Reserve chairman Paul Volcker of the USA and founder of the Virgin Group, Richard Branson, want the policy to be considered by the public health bias. They ask for alternatives to incarceration for drug-related non-violent crimes, and argue that it is time to regulate the use of psychoactive substances such as marijuana and coca leaf.

In order to reduce the damage and undermine the power and profits of organized crime, the Commission suggests that governments regulate their markets and to adapt to enforcement strategies to punish the criminals and not the users groups.

“The facts speak for themselves. It’s time to change”, Annan said. “Instead of criminalizing the use, we need to provide access to effective prevention and treatment. Criminalization not only led to overcrowded prisons, but also to the aggravation of social and health problems”.

Fernando Henrique Cardoso, President of GDPC, the drug control regime must be reformed to allow legal regulation. “We need to carefully test models of regulation as a means to undermine the power of organized crime, which propers on trafficking”.

Virgin Group founder Richard Branson claimed that world leaders pay attention on alternative approaches to learn from the successes and failures in the regulation of alcohol, tobacco and pharmaceutical industry. For him, it is necessary to accept that the most effective way to achieve the goals of public health and safety is to get the drug legally, responsibly and in a regulated manner. “We cannot go on, and keep pretending that this war is working. Risks associated with the use increase, sometimes dramatically, when the drugs are produced, sold and consumed in a criminal environment, unregulated”, he said.

Other committee members involved in the report are former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria, former President of Switzerland Ruth Dreifuss and political and business leaders from around the world.

Click here to read the entire document.

(Text: Renata Rodrigues / Images: GDPC)