War on drugs not working, says global commission

| 03/06/2011

(Guardian): Governments should decriminalise drug use, according to high profile panel, including Kofi Annan and Richard Branson. The global war on drugs has failed and governments should explore legalising marijuana and other controlled substances, according to a commission that includes former heads of state and a former UN secretary general. A new report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy argues that the decades-old "globalwar on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world." The 24-page paper was released on Thursday.

"Political leaders and public figures should have the courage to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately: that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem, and that the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won," the report said.

The 19-member commission includes former UN chief Kofi Annan and former US official George Schultz, who held cabinet posts under Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Others include former chairman of the US Federal Reserve Paul Volcker, former presidents of Mexico, Brazil and Colombia, the authors Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa, the businessman Sir Richard Branson and the Greek prime minister, George Papandreou.

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