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In Order To Achieve SDGs, International Community Should Support Drug Policy Reform

The Hill: Another decade lost to the global war on drugs
Helen Clark, member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy

“…Rather than eradicating drugs, prohibition is empowering and enriching organized crime groups. The combined impact of the drug war-fueled criminality, violence, and corruption ranges from harm in U.S. cities and other developed countries to undermining development in low- and middle-income countries. … As the Global Commission on Drug Policy … highlighted …, if the so-called ‘war on drugs’ continues unchallenged, achieving the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals … will be difficult, if not impossible, for many populations across the world. … Many countries are pioneering and showing by implementation and practice the benefits from drug policy reform, and reducing the harms of current prohibition through prioritizing health and decriminalization. Others, informed by evidence from academia and civil society, are shifting the paradigm and seeing the end of prohibition as a critical component of effective approaches to drug policy. We hope that the United Nations will avoid simply rubber-stamping a repeat of historical mistakes [at the ministerial meeting] in Vienna in March, and instead show bold leadership in supporting reforms that provide a pragmatic, meaningful, and effective response to the presence of drugs in society” (11/20).