Monday, April 9, 2012

Anybody got a joint?

It appears that a major change in international drug policy may be just around the corner. As reported by the Guardian, South American leaders are preparing to admit that war on drugs has failed (Something most of us realised quite some time ago). And that we now need to look at other solutions.

This will be discussed and debated at the forthcoming Summit of the Americas, where Barack Obama will be in attendance. Unfortunately it doesn't come at a great time for Obama, what with a general election on the near horizon, but the reality is there is unlikely to ever be a perfect time for an American President and this discussion.

Demand for illegal drugs is not driven by those in Mexico, Columbia and Guatemala but by users in western countries. The simplest solution is to stop looking at drug use as a criminal problem but rather as a public health problem. Then we need to legalise it, regulate it and tax it.

The Observer has a fantastic opinion piece by Otto Perez Molina, President of Guatemala and a former soldier in the war on drugs. It includes quotable phrases but this one in particular caught my attention:
the prohibition paradigm that inspires mainstream global drug policy today is based on a false premise: that the global drug markets can be eradicated.
And as Molina points out we don't believe we can eradicate alcohol consumption, so why do we believe differently with drugs.

No comments:

Post a Comment