Global Drug Policy Group Urges Treating Addiction as Health Issue


An organization called the Global Commission on Drug Policy, which includes former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan and former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, today issued a report condemning the “drug war” as a failure and calling for extensive reforms of the global drug prohibition regime. Former Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso said, “Let's start by treating drug addiction as a health issue, reducing
drug demand through proven educational initiatives and legally regulating rather than criminalizing cannabis.”

Among other recommendations: “End the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others,” ensure that a variety of treatment modalities are available – including not just methadone and buprenorphine treatment but also the heroin-assisted
treatment programs that have proven successful in many European countries and Canada, and apply human rights and harm reduction principles and policies both to people who use drugs as well as those involved in the lower ends of illegal drug markets such as farmers, couriers, and small dealers.

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