End the global war on drugs now
The Global Commission on Drug Policy tells the truth.
The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world. Fifty years after the initiation of the UN Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs, and 40 years after President Nixon launched the US government’s war on drugs, fundamental reforms in national and global drug control policies are urgently needed.
Vast expenditures on criminalization and repressive measures directed at producers, traffickers and consumers of illegal drugs have clearly failed to effectively curtail supply or consumption. Apparent victories in eliminating one source or trafficking organization are negated almost instantly by the emergence of other sources and traffickers. Repressive efforts directed at consumers impede public health measures to reduce HIV/AIDS, overdose fatalities
and other harmful consequences of
drug use. Government expenditures on
futile supply reduction strategies and incarceration displace more cost-effective and evidence-based investments in
demand and harm reduction.
Our principles and recommendations can be summarized as follows:
End the criminalization, marginalization
and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others. Challenge rather than reinforce common misconceptions about drug markets, drug use and
The findings are unassailable. The commissioners are blue chip. Here they are:
Asma Jahangir, human rights activist, former UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary, Extrajudicial and Summary Executions, Pakistan Carlos Fuentes, writer and public intellectual, Mexico César Gaviria, former President of Colombia Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Brazil (chair) George Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece George P. Shultz, former Secretary of State, United States (honorary chair) Javier Solana, former European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Spain John Whitehead, banker and civil servant, chair of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, United States Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, Ghana Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, President of the International Crisis Group, Canada Maria Cattaui, Petroplus Holdings Board member, former Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce, Switzerland Mario Vargas Llosa, writer and public intellectual, Peru Marion Caspers-Merk, former State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Health Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, France Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve and of the Economic Recovery Board Richard Branson, entrepreneur, advocate for social causes, founder of the Virgin Group, co-founder of The Elders, United Kingdom Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland and Minister of Home Affairs Thorvald Stoltenberg, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Norway