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9 former leaders write open letter urging Obama to commute sentences of more low-level drug offenders

Original article by Jeremy Burke on Business Insider A group of former heads of state penned an open letter to President Barack Obama urging him to commute the sentences of more low-level drug offenders in the final days of his presidency. The letter was signed by nine former leaders —

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US President Barack Obama meets with formerly incarcerated individuals who have previously received commutations in Washington, DC, on March 30, 2016.

From L to R, Serena Nunn, Ramona Brant, Obama and  Phillip Emmert. President Barack Obama on Wednesday commuted the sentences of 61 individuals charged mostly with cocaine-related offenses, as he again pressed the case for drug sentencing reforms.
 / AFP / NICHOLAS KAMM        (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)

Open Letter to President Obama

[Published in The Huffington Post, 9 January 2017] Mr. President, We wish to thank you for the great commitment you have shown to revisit the punitive approach to drug policy, particularly with regards to the pardon of low-level drug offenders. These individuals have committed no violent act, yet they have

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Punitive measures do not create a drug-free society

[Read original article in the Bangkok Post, 14 December 2016.] Achieving a society without drugs has been the objective of many countries around the world for many decades, including Asean with its declaration in 1998 for a drug-free region by 2015. Yet drug use prevalence has, at best, remained stable over

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Interview with Ruth Dreifuss

Ruth Dreifuss, Chair of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, answers questions on Al Jazeera regarding the decriminalization of drug consumption and possession for personal use, in the context of a change in drug policy in Thailand towards a less repressive regime. Click here to view interview.

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How U.S. Drug Policy Looks to the Rest of the World – And how it might change under Donald Trump

By Francie Diep Activists and family members of loved ones who died in the opioid epidemic take part in a rally on September 18th, 2016, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: John Moore/Getty Images) Sometimes, to understand something, you have to take an outsider’s point of view. That’s why, to get perspective

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Global Commission Leaders Issue Call to Decriminalize Drugs for Public Health and Human Rights

At a press conference in Washington, DC yesterday, five members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy—a 23-person body comprising nine former presidents or prime ministers, plus leaders like former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan—released “Advancing Drug Policy Reform: A new approach to decriminalization.” Drug prohibition, said Ruth Dreifuss, former president of Switzerland and

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World leaders call for legalisation of drugs

World leaders have called for an end to the criminalisation of drugs. The Global Commission on Drug Policy’s annual report advocates the removal of both civil and criminal penalties for drug use and possession. Prohibition of drugs has had “little or no impact” on the rate of drug use, the

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La Suisse peut convaincre les Etats-Unis en matière de drogues

Lundi sur les ondes de la RTS, l’ancienne présidente de la Confédération Ruth Dreifuss est revenue sur les problèmes de drogue qui persistent aux Etats-Unis. Selon elle, le modèle suisse peut convaincre. Invitée de l’émission Forum, Ruth Dreifuss s’est exprimée alors qu’elle venait de présenter à Washington le nouveau rapport

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The Economist – Espresso, “Aiming high: narcotics reform”

Can illicit drugs get any less cool? Today a groovy gang including former heads of the UN and Federal Reserve, plus ex-presidents and prime ministers from Latin America, Europe and Africa, will call for lighter dope laws. The Global Commission on Drug Policy has previously recommended that users be let

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War on Drugs an Epic Fail, BMJ Editors Say

Addiction is a health issue, not a moral failing, and physicians need to champion public policy changes that put treatment first and reverse the “absurd” focus on the war against drugs, which has never and will never work, say editors of the BMJ. “All wars cause human rights violations and

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