OAS: report recommends decriminalization of drugs
The decriminalization of drug use and the regulation of marijuana consumption are the principle recommendations made in “The Drug Problem in the Americas” report presented by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), José Miguel Insulza, as an alternative to the war on drugs.
The document stems from the request made to the OAS by 34 chiefs of state and governments, including the United States, so that alternative drug policies can be discussed.
Lisa Sanchez, coordinator of the Mexico United Against Crime (MUCD) program, the Transform Drug Policy foundation and a group of specialists commissioned to create the report stated that the document represents a rupture with the current paradigm on drugs. “The reform of drug policy has been a taboo for many times and, for the first time in decades, representatives of 34 countries of the Americas have had the courage to look at real alternatives to end the war on drugs”, he said.
The report, besides presenting an analysis of the current drug policies, including sample alternatives to the model, uses four scenarios to predict how drug policies could potentially develop by 2025. In one of the scenarios we find the legal regulation of marijuana and other drugs, along with the evolution of the international legal framework.
Sanchez states that this is a clear recognition of the failure of the current international system of substance control and shows the need to explore alternatives for its reforms. MUCD adviser, Armando Santacruz, adds that this scenario of reform is already happening in Washington and Colorado. “They are moving towards regulation and taxation of marijuana for non medicinal use and Uruguay will probably follow in the upcoming months”.
For Santacruz, this document has created the conditions for a vigorous debate on different approaches, while the international community gets ready for a Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly in 2016 on the drug question. “We hope that this kind of report will serve to fuel the global debate on drug policy reform”, he claims.
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