Saturday, June 18, 2011

Global Commission on Drug Policy Recommends End To War On Drugs

The war on drugs, launched 40 years ago, was well intentioned, but it has failed much as prohibition failed early last century. There is no doubt drug and alcohol abuse do serious damage to society and many have a strong desire to punish the individuals involved. The above chart shows the catastrophic rise in incarceration due mainly to the war on drugs. The U.S. imprisons a larger percentage of it's population than any other country, even communist China. This doesn't appear to be a policy that is working and, since Obama and Democrats have pushed us to the brink of bankruptcy, we can no longer afford it. A path toward less incarceration and more treatment for users seems prudent. Let's remember this definition of insanity by Albert Einstein:
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results
This message is not one conservatives want to hear, but it's time to face reality. Liberal is the insane political affiliation, not conservative.
Atlanta — In an extraordinary new initiative announced earlier this month, the Global Commission on Drug Policy has made some courageous and profoundly important recommendations in a report on how to bring more effective control over the illicit drug trade. The commission includes the former presidents or prime ministers of five countries, a former secretary general of the United Nations, human rights leaders, and business and government leaders, including Richard Branson, George P. Shultz and Paul A. Volcker.

The report describes the total failure of the present global antidrug effort, and in particular America’s “war on drugs,” which was declared 40 years ago today. It notes that the global consumption of opiates has increased 34.5 percent, cocaine 27 percent and cannabis 8.5 percent from 1998 to 2008. Its primary recommendations are to substitute treatment for imprisonment for people who use drugs but do no harm to others, and to concentrate more coordinated international effort on combating violent criminal organizations rather than nonviolent, low-level offenders.

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