Call for policy change to end ‘war on drugs’
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.”