The Global Commission on Drug Policy said that experiments in legally regulating markets in currently illicit drugs should be allowed and encouraged, beginning with cannabis and coca leaf.
The Global Commission on Drug Policy, formed by former presidents and world leaders, called for ending criminalization of drug use and possession and a responsible legal regulation of psychoactive substances.
In a report presented today in New York, the 22 leaders said that diverse experiments in legally regulating markets in currently illicit drugs should be allowed and encouraged, beginning with but not limited to cannabis, coca leaf and certain novel psychoactive substances.
“Health-based approaches to drug policy routinely prove much less expensive and more effective than criminalization and incarceration,” former President of Mexico Ernesto Zedillo said.
He added that “decriminalization of drug consumption is crucial but not sufficient” and that “significant legal and institutional reforms, both at the national and international levels, are needed to allow governments and societies to put in place policies to regulate the supply of drugs with rigorous medical criteria, if the engines of organized crime profiting from drug traffic are to be truly dismantled.”
The report, entitled “Taking control: pathways to drug policies that work”, recomnended replacing harsh measures grounded in repressive ideologies with “more humane and effective policies shaped by scientific evidence, public health principles and human rights standards”.
It added that “this is the only way to simultaneously reduce drug-related death, disease and suffering and the violence, crime, corruption and illicit markets associated with ineffective prohibitionists policies.”
The Commission also recommended to ensure equitable access to essential medicines, in particular opiate-based medications for pain.
Other members of the Commission are Aleksander Kwasiniewski, former president of Poland; Asma Jahangir, former UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary Executions; César Gaviria, former president of Colombia; Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former president of Brazil; George Papandreou, former prime minister of Greece; George Shultz, former US Secretary of State; Javier Solana, former European Union High Representative and Kofi Annan, former secretary general of the United Nations, among others.
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