Medical Experts Call For Global Decriminalization Of Drug Use, Emphasize Public Health-Centered Approach

News outlets highlight conclusions from a report of the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Drug Policy and Health, published online in The Lancet.

The Guardian: Medical experts call for global drug decriminalization
“An international commission of medical experts is calling for global drug decriminalization, arguing that current policies lead to violence, deaths, and the spread of disease, harming health and human rights. The commission, set up by the Lancet medical journal and Johns Hopkins University in the United States, finds that tough drugs laws have caused misery, failed to curb drug use, fueled violent crime, and spread the epidemics of HIV and hepatitis C through unsafe injecting…” (Boseley/Glenza, 3/24).

Reuters: ‘War on drugs’ has failed public health, medics say
“Governments around the world should decriminalize minor drug offenses because the standard strategy of prohibition is harming public health, leading medics said on Thursday. A report by the medical journal the Lancet and Johns Hopkins University said countries such as Portugal and the Czech Republic had shown that decriminalizing non-violent offenses such as possession and petty sale produced compelling health benefits…” (Hirschler, 3/24).

Washington Post: Top medical experts say we should decriminalize all drugs and maybe go even further
“…Their report comes ahead of a special U.N. General Assembly Session on drugs to be held next month, where the world’s countries will re-evaluate the past half-century of drug policy and, in the hope of many experts, chart a more public health-centered approach going forward…” (Ingraham, 3/24).