Friday, 22 December 2017

WHO calls for abolition of drug criminalization

Many governments across the globe have spent decades waging a war against drug users through harsh punishments. Yet, the drug problem has not improved; in fact, it has only gotten worse. It is for this reason that United Nations and the World Health Organization are calling for the total elimination of the criminal penalties associated with the possession of all illegal drugs.

In a joint release concerning health care discrimination, the two groups wrote that it was absolutely crucial to review and repeal policies “that have been proven to have negative health outcomes” for the whole of society. This includes statutes against “drug use or possession of drugs for personal use,” according to a report from the Independent.

Although this is not the first time the WHO has demanded the worldwide decriminalization of illegal drugs, the UN’s presence in the latest release is somewhat progressive.

It was just last year that the drug issue was revisited in New York during the UN General Assembly Special Session on drugs. Drug reform advocates had hoped the meetings would, at least, lead to some changes in the way the UN handles the international drug treaties – especially where marijuana is concerned.

But that didn’t happen. Instead, the highly publicized gathering ended up the equivalent of circus sideshow, with the UN ultimately deciding to maintain its criminal approach to drugs.

But last month, as part of the International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking, UN Secretary General António Guterres, who replaced Ban Ki-moon at the beginning of 2017, said we should be combating the global drug problem through “prevention and treatment,” not by making criminals out of otherwise innocent people.

“Millions of people across the world use drugs without posing any harm to others,” he said. “Criminalizing them is unnecessary, it’s harmful, it’s not proportional, and, to us, it undermines the right to privacy and the right to human dignity and personal autonomy.”

Incidentally, Guterres was Prime Minister of Portugal when the nation decriminalized drugs in 2001. The country now has one of the lowest rates of drug overdose deaths in Europe.


  1. Won't happen in the USA; without the "club" of criminal prosecution for going outside of the system, Americans could get their prescription drugs from countries that haven't sold out to Big Pharma.Further, many would come to realize that heroin and morphine aren't as dangerous (or, more importantly, as expensive) as FDA approved painkillers.

    Any time a government declares war upon a thing, simply replace said things name with "their citizens" to know what's going on. ��

  2. It should be completely obvious to our governments, after more than 40 years of dismal failure to suppress illegal drug use, that their policies in this area do not work and will never work. It should be completely obvious, a simple logical step, to realize that by decriminalizing drug use, and making the supply of all drugs available to those adults who wish to use them through legal and properly regulated channels, we could, at a stroke, put out of business the vast criminal enterprise that presently flourishes on the supply of illegal drugs. It ought to be obvious, but somehow it is not. It appears to be a natural human urge, as deep-rooted as our urges for food, sex, and nurturing relationships, to seek out and explore such “altered states of consciousness.” Instead the powers that be continue to pursue the same harsh and cruel policies that they have been wedded to from the outset, ever seeking to strengthen and reinforce them rather than to replace them with something better. Indeed the only “change” that the large, armed bureaucracies that enforce these policies has ever sought since the “War on Drugs” began has, year on year, been to demand even more money, even more arms, and even more draconian legislative powers to break into homes, to confiscate property, and to deprive otherwise law-abiding citizens of liberty and wreck their lives. In the process we have seen our once free and upstanding societies— which used to respect individual choice and freedom of conscience above all else—slide remorselessly down the slippery slope that leads to the police state. And all this is being done in our name, with our money, by our own governments, to “save us from ourselves”!

    1. Winners and Losers Who benefits from this colossal stupidity and systematic wickedness? And who loses? The beneficiaries are easy to spot. First, the large and ever-expanding armed bureaucracies, funded with large and ever-growing sums of public money to suppress the use of drugs, have benefited enormously. Everyone who works for them, including the PR people and spin merchants who concoct the propaganda used to sell their policies to us, including their subcontractors both public and private, and including the (often privately run) prisons stuffed to bursting point with their victims, are the beneficiaries of this catastrophic failure on the part of our governments to think laterally, generously, and creatively. Whether you are a Drug Enforcement Administration agent or a prison guard, you naturally have a deeply vested interest in maintaining the miserable status quo, justified by the “War on Drugs,” that keeps you in your job, that ensures your monthly paychecks continue to come in, and that continuously expands your budgets. The second main category of beneficiaries is—of course!—the criminal gangs and cartels that the present misguided official policies have empowered as the sole source of drugs in our societies. Over the past 40-plus years they have earned countless billions of dollars from the sale of illegal drugs which, had they only been legal, would not have earned them a single penny. Who are the losers? First and most directly those millions upon millions of good, nonviolent people in our societies who have been jailed or otherwise punished for the possession and use of drugs. And second (regardless of whether or not they use illegal drugs themselves), virtually everyone else in our societies as well. For the quality of life of all of us has been diminished by the growth of the police state and by the murderous activities of the criminal gangs enfranchised, and kept in business, by the blind and mindless perpetuation of this failed and bankrupt “War on Drugs.” So, in summary, the criminalization of drug use has brought no positive effects, only negative ones, and it has not stopped or even reduced the use of dangerous and harmful drugs. On the contrary, we have been so little “saved from ourselves” by this phony war that the use of almost all illegal drugs, far from decreasing, has dramatically increased during the past 40 years. The War on Consciousness Graham Hancock by Graham Hancock