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Global War On Drugs A Failure, High-Level Panel Says


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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A high-level international commission declared the global "war on drugs" a failure and urged nations to consider legalizing cannabis and other drugs to undermine organized crime and protect their citizens' health.

 

The Global Commission on Drug Policy called for a new approach to reducing drug abuse to replace the current strategy of strictly criminalizing drugs and incarcerating drug users while battling criminal cartels that control the drug trade.

 

"The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world," said the report issued by the commission on Thursday.

 

The study urges "experimentation by governments with models of legal regulation of drugs," adding: "This recommendation applies especially to cannabis, but we also encourage other experiments in decriminalization and legal regulation."

 

There are 250 million users of illicit drugs worldwide, with less than a 10th of them classified as dependent, and millions are involved in cultivation, production and distribution, according to U.N. estimates quoted in the report.

 

The study adds that decriminalization initiatives do not result in significant increases in drug use.

 

"Now is the time to break the taboo on discussion of all drug policy options, including alternatives to drug prohibition," former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria said.

 

The 19-member panel includes current Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou and former heads of state, former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, British businessman Richard Branson and former Secretary of State George Shultz.

 

The commission said fundamental reforms were urgently needed in national and global drug control policies.

 

Additional recommendations:

 

-- Replace the criminalization and punishment of people who are drug users but do not hurt other people with the offer of health and treatment services to those who need them.

 

-- Countries that continue to invest mostly in a law enforcement approach should focus on violent organized crime and drug traffickers.

 

-- Promote alternative sentences for small-scale and first-time drug dealers as the majority of these people are not gangsters or organized criminals.

 

Other members of the panel include former Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo, former Swiss President Ruth Dreifuss, former Brazilian President Fernando Henrique Cardoso and former U.S. Federal Reserve chief Paul Volcker.

 

The report says "vast expenditure" had been spent on criminalization and repressive measures.

 

"Repressive efforts directed at consumers impede public health measures to reduce HIV/AIDS, overdose fatalities and other harmful consequences of drug use," it adds.

 

The commission's report adds that money spent by governments on futile efforts to reduce the supply of drugs and on jailing people on drug-related offenses could be better spent on different ways to reduce drug demand and the harm caused by drug abuse.

 

The full report is available at http://www.globalcommissionondrugs.org/Report.

 

(Reporting by Will Dunham, additional reporting by Olesya Dmitracova in London; editing by Elizabeth Piper)

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Many important, high level people are speaking out- HOW LOUD DO THEY HAVE TO BE TO BE HEARD? How many have to come right out and say THIS WAR HAS FAILED before the people who really need to hear it WILL LISTEN and make this thing STOP? Enough is ENOUGH already. I'm glad to see more people ARE speaking out about it. It sure would be nice to see this crap END in our lifetime.

Sb :growl:

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The United States Of Prisons has already denounced this idea as "misguided". And leading the world in people in prison on minor drug convictions isn't?

 

Far to much money to be made putting people in jail...

 

"We hope this country (the U.S.) at least starts to think there are alternatives," former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria told The Associated Press by phone. "We don't see the U.S. evolving in a way that is compatible with our (countries') long-term interests."

 

Many Latin American countries are either looking into or have already started large scale Industrial Hemp farming. America is so far behind the times its frightening when second and third world countries out do us like this.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/12/first-in-south-america-uruguay-to-test-cultivation-of-industrial-hemp.php

 

America is looking more and more like the middle eastern countries whose citizens are rising up against their tyrannical governments.

 

The cake is spoiled...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCKtfdVqK7c

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The United States Of Prisons has already denounced this idea as "misguided". And leading the world in people in prison on minor drug convictions isn't?

 

Far to much money to be made putting people in jail...

 

"We hope this country (the U.S.) at least starts to think there are alternatives," former Colombian president Cesar Gaviria told The Associated Press by phone. "We don't see the U.S. evolving in a way that is compatible with our (countries') long-term interests."

 

Many Latin American countries are either looking into or have already started large scale Industrial Hemp farming. America is so far behind the times its frightening when second and third world countries out do us like this.

http://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/12/first-in-south-america-uruguay-to-test-cultivation-of-industrial-hemp.php

 

America is looking more and more like the middle eastern countries whose citizens are rising up against their tyrannical governments.

 

The cake is spoiled...

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCKtfdVqK7c

 

Thank the "Religious Right", the "Moral Majority", and all the other crack pot religious nut jobs for this situation. They are all backward thinking hypocrites who are more than willing to see the USA fall behind other countries simply to get their world view accepted. And they criticize the Taliban? I think they have more in common with them than they realize.

 

An extreme example of "conservative values" is the Amish culture. I sometimes think that the religious right would be very happy to have our culture mirror the Amish culture.

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