The World Commission on Drug Policy calls for the decriminalization of all drugs
Decriminalization The Global Commission on Drug Policy, which is leading from 23 politicians and leading intellectuals, has submitted its annual report 2016th It calls for a worldwide decriminalization of all drugs and the abolition of all sanctions which are still being imposed on the consumption and possession of drugs in large parts of the world.
On November 21, 2016, presented the Global Commission on Drug Policy at a press conference in Washington its annual report, entitled Advancing Drug Reform: New Approach to Drug Decriminalization (Other drug policy reform: A New Approach to decriminalize drugs). The Commission’s experts and leading figures in the world are discussing their recommendations in the field of drug policy, and the need to decriminalize the possession and consumption of narcotic drugs even before a global regulation of drug markets.
This annual report is based on the five previously published annual reports, in which the Commission called on the governments of the States and the United Nations, as well as the public, to change their perception of drug users and to counter the prejudices against them.
The Annual Report 2016 (the press conference, you can here view) recommend to the States, a charge regulation and ending the harsh prosecution of the consumption and possession of drugs, which has led to a variety of people around the world to damage and prejudice; .
“Only in this way,” says the annual report, “can the progressive destruction of society be permanently mitigated by drug prohibition”.
The World Commission on Drug Policy and its Mission
Since its founding just six years ago in 2011, the commission has commissioned a reorientation of the discussion on the reform of drug policies to make them more balanced and based on facts and evidence, as well as strict respect for human rights and the emphasis on aspects Public health, social inclusion and security.
The World Commission – consisting of 25 politicians, famous artists and influential figures of the financial and corporate world – is an independent body that wants to be a world reference for drug policy reform by protecting recommendations for innovative and effective political Maßnahmenausspricht that human rights , Reduce health damage and promote social development.
Among the members of the Commission are the former Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, the former Presidents of Colombia, Mexico, Chile, Brazil, Nigeria, Greece, former Prime Ministers from Poland, Portugal and Switzerland; The British multimillionaire and philanthropist Sir Richard Branson; George Schultz, former US Secretary of State under Reagan; The Nobel Prize in Literature Mario Vargas Llosa; The Spaniard Javier Solana, former EU Commissioner for the Community’s foreign and security policy; Nick Clegg, former UK Deputy Prime Minister and Member of Parliament, as well as other prominent human rights activists and personalities.
The World Commission, which chaired the Alt Federal Councillor of Switzerland Ruth Dreifuss is, by a secretary at the Institute de Hautes Études Internationales Et Du Dévelopment supported in Switzerland, which is responsible for the publications of the Commission, among other things. The Commission also establishes, on a ad-hoc basis, a network of thematic experts who make important contributions from their home Member States.
Since its inception, the World Commission has produced five main reports and three documentary films distributed throughout the world, addressing problems such as the failed war on drugs, the impact of its criminalization on public health, and the possible ways of effective drug regulation.
For the World Commission was as early as 2012 with the Cannabis Culture Awards awarded, contrary took the Sir Richard Branson and former Norwegian Foreign Minister Thorvald Stoltenberg on behalf of the Commission. This prestigious award, which was initiated by the Sensi-founder Ben Dronkers back is awarded annually in thanks and recognition to individuals and organizations who advocate a paradigm shift and contribute towards changing the public perception of cannabis. These are people of public life, who criticize the war against drugs, oppose it and prove their courage in the fight for a complete acceptance of the cannabis plant.
Reports and recommendations
The first, in 2011 created and published Commission report began with the words: “The global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world”, and sets out in the following that the current global strategy In drug policy has not developed and therefore a new approach is needed.
This was the first time that celebrities from politics, intellectuals and senior diplomats have publicly expressed what the cannabis activism for years denounced: The war on drugs has failed, on the whole line.
The Commission recommended the following strategy: the decriminalization of all drugs, the provision of care and health services for all persons in need, and mitigation measures, such as substitution therapy. Repressive measures, on the other hand, should be confined exclusively to violent criminal organizations in order to limit their power and influence.
2016: A new start for decriminalization
Over the five years of activity of Kommissionhat global drug policy experienced major price changes, both in the public debate and opinion as well as in scientific terms . But noteworthy is the implementation of new policy approaches , the experiment concretely with different ways to regulate the cannabis market, as well as alternatives to the criminalization of drug users.
These reforms are on the way, but the prohibition policy is still officially maintained and in the name of the war against the drugs continues to favor human rights violations.
Since the publication of its first report, the Commission has called for the systematic decriminalization of all drugs in all its publications. However, this year’s report goes one step further and opens new avenues for a new understanding of the effective decriminalization of drugs.
In its annual report 2016, the World Commission on Drugs Policy recommends that the governments of the States abandon both the criminal and all other sanctions for the consumption and possession of drugs and urgently abolish the death penalty for any kind of offenses related to drugs (including self-use) Of narcotics), in all 33 countries, where this punishment still applies.
“The World Commission thinks that the possession of small quantities and / or their own consumption can not be punished at all, while respecting human dignity and the rule of law,” the annual report says.
The document refers in particular to the effective Entkriminalisierungspolitik, the thirteen years as Portugal takes place, where the possession of drugs (including cannabis) is not a criminal offense, which has led there to a lower number of addicts and overdose deaths and of deaths of sexually transmitted diseases.
As the former mayor of Prague, Pavel Bém, at the press conference said, Portugal is therefore a good example because there thanks to the decline of offenders 18% of government spending were saved for prisons, since the personal use of illicit substances is provided impunity 2,001th
Criticized in particular in countries such as the Philippines practiced penalties for drug offenses, which have led to the killing of thousands of drug addicts and -dealer without any judicial process, especially since the election of Rodrigo Duterte for President, who even asks the public, with the ” Eradication “of drug addicts and dementia.
“The countries that are most concerned about us are in Asia. It is a group of nations that prescribe a radical interpretation of the Shari’ah, that is, the Islamic law. If you also China accepts it, we are dealing with a large part of the world, we still have to convince them that the death penalty violates human rights “, Dreifuss summed up the Commission’s recommendations together.
The Commission’s annual report calls for decriminalization and impunity, both administrative and criminal, for all persons who are only marginally involved in drug trafficking. This also applies to drug traffickers who finance their own needs through trade, transporters without a criminal record for acts of violence such as drug traffickers and illegal drug cultivation. At the same time, the States must create alternatives to the punishment of non-violent actors, who are only marginally involved in drug trafficking.
For many of these people, according to the annual report, these activities are devoted only to “economic distress”, “lack of alternatives” or “because they are forced to do so”. And despite their awkward social situation, such people are then confronted with harsh penalties ranging from high fines to the destruction of the plantations and prison sentences securing their livelihood, to the death penalty (in some states). Meanwhile, to the beneficiaries of the prohibition of drugs such as cannabis further retract their profits.
“For years, we have put the dramatic effects of the ban on society as a whole, and in particular the criminalization of people, who merely consume drugs and do no harm to others. Today, we see the time to bring the benefits of a well-designed and human-oriented drug policy to the fore, “said Commission President Ruth Dreifuss at the presentation of the annual report.
According to the annual report, the implementation of such innovative policy approaches must be preceded by an honest debate on the root cause of past drug policies, ie the criminalization of the own needs or possession of psychoactive substances prohibited by national legislation. The aim should be a complete decriminalization, including the lifting of fines and other criminal sanctions: “States that renew their drug laws should try to implement this model,” the report said.
The fourth recommendation states that the UN states should abolish the criminalization of possession of drugs as a treaty under the international drug control regime.
The Commission criticized vehemently that the contracts or agreements of the UN drug control regime have created the space for a national policy that is contrary to the Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations: For 5.5 billion people around the world have no or Scarce access to adequate drugs for pain relief solely because of the restrictions in the prescription of opium-containing painkillers or analgesic narcotics.
Even the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) itself has a short report created in which it is explained that the impunity for the use and possession of drugs is compatible for their own use with the contracts of the international drug control regime. This document also informs the States about the solutions to human rights-based drug policies and to improving public health.
Nevertheless, once again the inaction of the United Nations in the fight against drug abuse became apparent when the last special session of the UN General Assembly ( UNGASS ) in New York in April 2016 took place. This supposedly revolutionary meeting, which should initiate a global change of direction in drug policy, explained only the large gap between the States and ended with a non-binding framework agreement that had been negotiated months before the summit, instead of far-reaching reforms, whose greatest enemy among others Russia Was.
As a result, Richard Branson, a member of the World Commission on Drug Policy, described the last UNGASS meeting in the British newspaper The Guardian as “a process that was flawed from the outset”. And he added that the document she had adopted was a party to the law, and only to the interests of 53 states, but not to all of the 193 UN Member States.
Finally, the annual report recommends that the States must discuss and recognize regulatory models for all illicit drugs as this is the next major step in the reform of drug policies after decriminalization.
“Drug policy is developing at a global, regional or local level,” said Commissioner César Gaviria (former President of Colombia). “In order to develop a sound and effective policy that mitigates the damage of the last 60 years of false policy and to prepare for a better future in which drugs can be controlled more effectively, we must implement a complete decriminalization of own resources without any discretion.”
For the Commission the decriminalization or impunity is the first and indispensable big step in the right direction to reform drug policies at the global level, as with the legalization of cannabis has been done in many countries. As a second step, the state regulation of all markets for illegal drugs must follow, from production to distribution.
The Commission is aware of the fact that its recommendations are expressed in the midst of a change in the political climate, which may also have detrimental effects on decriminalization. However, as the result of the recent US elections showed that voters in spite of the electoral triumph of Donald Trump in the race for the presidency yet for legalizing cannabis than tobacco in three other states and for legislation on medical cannabis in four other states pronounced.
In any case, drug policy should be strictly separated from any conservative party politics, so that the latter can not interfere with efforts to impunity for drugs in general and specifically for cannabis. It is becoming increasingly clear to citizens that this issue is about human rights and that there is no reason why the state should interfere with the lives of millions of people who consume a particular type of drug as a luxury or a medical condition, Without harming anyone else with it.
We hope that the recommendations of the World Commission on Drug Policy will not fall on deaf ears, and the governments of the various countries of the world will consider them for a realistic analysis of what is happening in the practice of international drug policy, not in the rhetoric of populism and party politics Has proved successful or failed. At the moment, emotions and ideologies still have more weight than evidence and facts.