The war on drugs is a colossal failure. Now, billionaire Richard Branson, three ex-presidents and a renowned AIDS researcher have told the UN to legalize all drugs.
These leaders are part of Global Commission on Drug Policy, which just had a special session with the UN, calling to stop the prohibition-oriented approach to drug regulation, because it is “fatally flawed.”
A major point from the session is the need to stop criminalizing people for drug use and possession. The Commission noted we spend hundreds of millions of dollars to lock away drug users, for victimless crimes. This encourages high-risk behaviour (re-using needles), deters users from seeking medical help, and detracts police from crimes with victims and destroys lives – which could be saved with proper help – and gives them criminal records instead.
Former Swiss President, Ruth Dreifuss said, “Regulating the whole chain, from the production to the retail of drugs, allows to rollback criminal organizations, secure quality standards and protect people’s life, health and safety.”
Prohibition hasn’t diminished overall drug consumption. In fact, it has forced drug pushing and purchasing into unregulated underground markets, run by violence that surfaces above ground. This has detrimental effects on democratic legal order. So Richard Branson and the former world leaders suggest we tax a regulated drug market to bring safer and cheaper substances to users, while keeping the profits to benefit society.
What do you think? Is it time we decriminalize all drugs and take the power out of the hands of criminals? Taking your calls and texts after 1pm: 204.780.6868.