Taking Control: Pathways to drug policies that work
The Global Commission proposes five pathways to improve the global drug policy regime.12 Sep 2014
The Global Commission proposes five pathways to improve the global drug policy regime. After putting people ́s health and safety at the center of the picture, governments are urged to ensure access to essential medicines and pain control. The Commissioners call for an end to the criminalization and incarceration of users together with targeted prevention, harm reduction and treatment strategies for dependent users.
The obstacles to drug policy reform are both daunting and diverse. Powerful and established drug control bureaucracies, both national and international, staunchly defend status quo policies. They seldom question whether their involvement and tactics in enforcing drug policy are doing more harm than good. Meanwhile, there is often a tendency to sensationalize each new “drug scare” in the media. And politicians regularly subscribe to the appealing rhetoric of “zero tolerance” and creating “drug free” societies rather than pursuing an informed approach based on evidence of what works. Popular associations of illicit drugs with ethnic and racial minorities stir fear and inspire harsh legislation. And enlightened reform advocates are routinely attacked as “soft on crime” or even “pro-drug.”
Fortunately, the dated rhetoric and unrealistic goals set during the 1998 UNGASS on drugs are unlikely to be repeated in 2016. Indeed, there is growing support for more flexible interpretations and reform of the international drug control conventions aligned with human rights and harm reduction principles. All of these developments bode well for the reforms we propose below. Full report here
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