Thursday, June 2, 2011

Former World Leaders: Decriminalize Marijuana

A group of notable former heads of state is presenting their formal report today as part of a commission examining the war on drugs begun, all in all, 40 years ago in the US under President Nixon.  Their finding?  Stop penalizing drug users who do no harm to others.

"'The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world,' the members of the Global Commission on Drug Policy say in a report.

"'Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and 40 years after President (Richard) Nixon launched the US government's war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed.'

"And saying that restrictions on marijuana should be loosened, the report urged governments to 'end the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others.'"

This report is interesting in that many of the commission's members come from countries heavily affected by the illegal drug trade, to include Kofi Annan, former Colombian President Cesar Gaviria, and Brazilian Fernando Cardoso.  Their argument, essentially, is that if drug reform can decriminalize low-impact substances such as marijuana, then the drug-money fueled cabals would lose power and violent crime related to that trade would drop.  

I can't say that I disagree.  

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