Just as prohibition of alcohol failed in the United States in the 1920s, the war on drugs has failed globally. Over the past 50 years, more than $1 trillion has been spent fighting this battle, and all we have to show for it is increased drug use, overflowing jails, billions of pounds and dollars of taxpayers’ money wasted, and thriving crime syndicates. It is time for a new approach.
Too many of our leaders worldwide are ignoring policy reforms that could rapidly reduce violence and organised crime, cut down on theft, improve public health and reduce the use of illicit drugs. They are failing to act because the reforms that are needed centre on decriminalising drug use and treating it as a health problem. They are scared to take a stand that might seem “soft”.
But exploring ways to decriminalise drugs is anything but soft. It would free up crime-fighting resources to go after violent organised crime, and get more people the help they need to get off drugs. It’s time to get tough on misguided policies and end the war on drugs.
I was fortunate to be part of the Global Commission for Drug Policy, along with the former US Secretary of State George Shultz, former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, President Cardoso of Brazil and the likes of the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Louise Arbor, and the former chairman of President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board, Paul Volcker. We studied international drug policy over the past 50 years, and found that it has totally failed to stop the growth and diversification of the drug trade. Between 1998 and 2008, opiate use increased by more than 34 per cent, even as prison populations swelled and profits for drug traffickers soared.
As these grim trends show, the two strategies at the core of drug control policy have been ineffective. First, prohibition and enforcement efforts have failed to dent the production and distribution of drugs in any part of the world. Second, the threat of arrest and punishment has had no significant deterrent effect on drug use.
Going to the local supermarket and looking at the aisles for awhile can really put things in to proper perspective........it's packed full of high fructose corn syrup, GMO corn products and hefty marketing schemes. In other words, it's full of rubbish. How do we get our nature back? We are in dire need of Hemp......