• The war on drugs war is lost. Now it's time for a rational response

    Politicians are too scared to propose legalisation and controlled use, but without radical changes many more lives will be destroyed or ruined
    Ian Birrell
    The Observer (UK)
    Sunday, June 5, 2011

    The tone of debate in Britain serves only to highlight the immaturity of our public discourse, with too many politicians lost in the fog of this foolhardy war. So here is a suggestion for our three main party leaders, who are all young enough to know better: why not hoist the white flag and work out a unified way to end a struggle that does so much more harm than good? The alternative is to carry on fighting like generals in the First World War, ignoring the deaths, the devastation and the wastelands created around the world in a battle than can never be won.

  • The Saturday interview: Richard Branson

    One of Britain's best known entrepreneurs – and a man who knows a thing or two about counterculture – is joining calls for an end to the War on Drugs
    The Guardian (UK)
    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    "I've seen the war on drugs and I've not been impressed," says Richard Branson. "Thousands of people are being killed in Mexico because of the demand for drugs in America. Whole sections of society are becoming lawless, and most of it is over marijuana." He says it's "incredible" how little the debate has moved on since the 1960s. "It has just got worse and worse and worse."

  • Global reformers say it's time for change on drugs

    New Zealand Herald
    Saturday, June 4, 2011

    Forty years after United States President Richard Nixon launched his War on Drugs, a conflict that far eclipses the War on Terror, the struggle to contain, let alone end, illicit drug abuse is far from over, spewing violence, corruption and addiction into new markets, brutal capitalism at its most malignant. But, finally, there is a glimmer of hope. The Global Commission on Drug Reform, formed in January, declared the War on Drugs a resounding failure, and suggested radical measures must be taken if the global narco culture was to ever be defeated. "Fundamental reforms in national and global control policies are urgently needed," said Brazil's ex-president, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, who heads the commission.

  • The drug war comes full circle

    Once again, former UN officials and world leaders have come forward to challenge the hopeless drug policies of current UN officials and world leaders
    Dan Gardner
    The Ottawa Citizen
    Friday, June 4, 2011

    The most striking name on the list is that of Kofi Annan. As secretary general of the United Nations in 1998, Kofi Annan presided over a special United Nations assembly on illicit drugs, which brought together leaders from all over the world. Shortly before that historic event, a letter of protest was delivered to the UN chief.

  • A report that dares to tell the truth to power

    What are the chances of this commision on drug policy influencing political leaders? Vanishingly slim
    The Independent (UK)
    Friday, June 3, 2011

    Global commissions made up of eminent former policymakers can normally be counted upon to tell international leaders what they want to hear. But the Global Commission on Drug Policy – which has called on the services of distinguished names such Paul Volcker, Kofi Annan, Mario Vargas Llosa, Javier Solana and half a dozen former national politicians – has done something very different. Instead of telling world leaders what they want to hear, the commission has, instead, told them the truth.

  • Supply and demand

    The argument over treatment is being won. Now for the battle over supply
    The Economist (UK)
    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Narcotics liberalisation was once the cause of freethinkers and hippies. Now a more sober bunch is criticising the “war on drugs”. On June 2nd the Global Commission on Drug Policy, a group including ex-presidents of Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Switzerland; the prime minister of Greece; a former secretary-general of the United Nations; and, from America, an ex-secretary of state and ex-chairman of the Federal Reserve, called for the decriminalisation of all drug taking, and for experiments in the legal regulation of the sale of drugs, starting with cannabis.

  • War on drugs not working, says global commission

    Governments should decriminalise drug use, according to high profile panel, including Kofi Annan and Richard Branson
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    glocom-logo-smallThe global war on drugs has failed and governments should explore legalising marijuana and other controlled substances, according to a commission that includes former heads of state and a former UN secretary general. A new report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy argues that the decades-old "global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world." The 24-page paper was released on Thursday.

  • Decriminalise possession of drugs, celebrities urge government

    Campaign headed by actors, academics and lawyers says current drugs laws stigmatise people and damage communities
    The Guardian (UK)
    June 2, 2011

    Dame Judi Dench, Sir Richard Branson, and Sting have joined an ex-drugs minister and three former chief constables in calling for the decriminalisation of the possession of all drugs. The high-profile celebrities together with leading lawyers, academics, artists and politicians have signed an open letter to David Cameron to mark this week's 40th anniversary of the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act. The letter, published in a full-page advertisement in The Guardian, calls for a "swift and transparent" review of the effectiveness of current drugs policies.

  • Panel Calls War on Drugs a Failure

    The Wall Street Journal (US)
    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    As spiraling drug violence kills thousands in Mexico and police battle gangs for control of Brazil's drug-infested slums, an international panel has concluded that the U.S.-led war on drugs is a failure. "The global war on drugs has failed," said a report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy due to be released Thursday. The report calls for a frank dialogue on the issue and encourages governments to experiment with the regulation of drugs, especially marijuana.

  • Drugs and the law: state of confusion

    The laws governing drug possession and abuse aren't clear
    The Guardian (UK)
    Thursday, June 2, 2011

    Forty years after the introduction of the 1971 Misuse of Drugs Act, more than 2.8 million people report using illicit drugs every year in England and Wales. While cannabis remains overwhelmingly the most popular, this Home Office total also includes 800,000 mainly young adults who put the country at the top of the European league table for powder cocaine use.

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