Call for pol­icy change to end ‘war on drugs’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE -

white, poor or rich, show any in­ter­est in try­ing it.”

So, how should South Africa tackle its nyaope cri­sis, for ex­am­ple?

“First, aban­don any hope that ar­rest­ing peo­ple will solve the prob­lem.

“Sec­ond, fo­cus… on the ques­tion of why young peo­ple are us­ing these drugs.

“Third, un­der­stand dagga is one of the least dan­ger­ous drugs con­sumed by hu­man be­ings – much less dan­ger­ous, ac­cord­ing to in­de­pen­dent med­i­cal and sci­en­tific so­ci­eties around the world, than al­co­hol and tobacco.

“And fourth, put most of the gov­ern­ment’s re­sources into help­ing young peo­ple live more sat­is­fy­ing lives, whether or not they use drugs. De­mon­is­ing peo­ple for us­ing drugs doesn’t re­ally help any­one.”

Nadel­mann says he re­mains “in­spired” by the Drug Pol­icy Week be­cause it feels like the birth of a nascent drug pol­icy re­form move­ment in South Africa.

“And there’s clearly an ap­petite for re­form, es­pe­cially in the big­ger cities that are strug­gling with grow­ing drug prob­lems.

“The sources of re­sis­tance are, of course, many – politi­cians, law en­force­ment, peo­ple and or­gan­i­sa­tions that put their anti-drug ide­olo­gies above their pro-hu­man sen­ti­ments.

“But there are clearly many peo­ple in high po­si­tions who in­creas­ingly un­der­stand what needs to be done, and who’re be­gin­ning to help qui­etly even if they still fear to do so pub­licly.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.