(Geneva, 23 September)
The Global Call to Action on the World Drug Problem, hosted by the US Administration on 24 September at the UN, signals the continuation of inefficient, costly and harmful policies. These policies result in punitive law enforcement, militarization, mass incarceration, forced treatment, and broken families and communities. Most important, they also result in loss of human dignity and lives.
Attempts to eradicate drug supply and use through prohibition-based repressive measures against people who use drugs have proved expensive and counter-productive for more than 50 years. The US government, which tried and abandoned alcohol prohibition, and now faces an unprecedented opioid crisis, should know this better than anyone – especially at a time when numerous states are moving away from prohibition and towards regulation.
The Global Call to Action represents an attempt to demonstrate a consensus that no longer exists, including among a number of the signatories.
The Global Call to Action stands in stark contrast with the new report that the Global Commission is launching at the same moment in Mexico City. This report examines how governments can move to regulate drugs as the realistic and responsible alternative to prohibition. Rather than continuing the failed strategies of the past, the Global Commission is proposing ways forward that can help deliver on the shared United Nations goals of peace, development, and human rights for all.
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