The war on drugs ‘a disas­ter’

Isis Town and Country - - Opinion -

“THE ‘war on drugs’ is an un­mit­i­gated disas­ter,” ac­cord­ing to Fer­nando Hen­rique Car­doso, for­mer pres­i­dent of Brazil, Ce­sar Gaviria, for­mer pres­i­dent of Colom­bia, and Ernesto Zedillo, for­mer pres­i­dent of Mex­ico. Th­ese Latin Amer­i­can heads of state wrote an op-ed pub­lished in the Los An­ge­les Times ar­gu­ing that the best way to ap­proach the drug prob­lem is one that puts health and hu­man rights first. They claim that the draft on global drug pol­icy to be pre­sented to the spe­cial ses­sion of the UN Gen­eral As­sem­bly (UNGASS) al­ready ap­pears to miss an his­toric op­por­tu­nity. It ig­nores the “com­pre­hen­sive fail­ure of the cur­rent drug con­trol sys­tem to re­duce sup­ply or de­mand” and “per­pet­u­ates the crim­i­nal­i­sa­tion of pro­duc­ers and con­sumers.” They also charge that “the group be­hind the dec­la­ra­tion, the UN Com­mis­sion on Nar­cotic Drugs, re­fused in­put dur­ing the ne­go­ti­a­tion process from stake­hold­ers and ex­perts in­clud­ing civil so­ci­ety groups,” ren­der­ing the ne­go­ti­a­tions “nei­ther trans­par­ent nor in­clu­sive.” They fur­ther ar­gue that the group did not take into con­sid­er­a­tion the suc­cess of the Por­tuguese and Span­ish harm min­imi­sa­tion poli­cies. Mean­while, the Global Com­mis­sion on Drug Pol­icy (GCDP), a five-year-old group whose mem­bers in­clude for­mer UN head Kofi An­nan, other for­mer heads of state, hu­man rights ex­perts, and renowned au­thors, is­sued a state­ment out­lin­ing the same con­cerns re­gard­ing the “dis­ap­point­ing” process lead­ing up to the spe­cial ses­sion, say­ing the “op­por­tu­nity to achieve more hu­mane and ef­fec­tive drug pol­icy (at the up­com­ing UNGASS meet­ing) is at risk” be­cause the draft does not “recog­nise the fail­ures of the present sys­tem to re­duce sup­ply and de­mand.” Di­eter Moeckel Won­bah

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