Saturday, July 28, 2018

Colombian president admits Drug War being lost

President Santos on the Drug War: "The Cure Has Been Worse Than the Disease" | Americas Quarterly - Juan Manuel Santos:

July 24, 2018 - "More than a century ago, in 1912, representatives from countries around the world signed the International Opium Convention.... Fifty years later, in 1961, the United Nations adopted the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs.... In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a War on Drugs.

"After more than 106 years of head-on battle, we must now assess, with brutal honesty, where we stand.... An effective policy [toward] illicit drugs should have led to a reduction in trafficking and use. Yet data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) World Drug Report show that between 2006 and 2015, worldwide consumption by adults remained stable.

"But we are not only losing the war on the public health front. U.S. law enforcement agencies have arrested at least 1.4 million people for drug violations annually since 1997. But despite these high numbers, the availability of drugs on the streets has not diminished. Criminal organizations wreak violence and terror and represent a threat to individual security, national security and even global security. Also, drug-trafficking mafias consistently seek to corrupt state institutions and democracy.

"In the world, and particularly in Colombia, we invest billions of dollars a year chasing the dream of a drug-free world.... Colombian authorities have made more than 1 million drug seizures since 1993. While such figures demonstrate Colombia’s efforts to fight drug trafficking, they also show we’re on a stationary bicycle, spinning our wheels instead of moving forward.

"The policy prescription we have used for years, based mainly on punitive repression, has not solved the problem.... We need a global drug policy free of prejudice, based instead on empirical evidence and, above all, recognition that there will always be drug users. Drug use should be a matter of public health, not law enforcement.....

"Enforcement must focus on the criminal organizations that profit from drug trafficking and are the leading engines of violence.... As for the weakest links in the chain – small producers and drug users – we must offer solutions based on respect for human rights....

"The War on Drugs has taken too many lives: The cure has been worse than the disease. In Colombia, we have paid a very high price for it, perhaps the highest of any nation.... It is time to accept the reality that as long as there are drug users there will be drug suppliers – and that there will always be drug users....

"The solution is not so simple as advocating for the legalization of drugs.... It is time we talk about responsible government regulation, look for ways to cut off the drug mafias’ air supply, and tackle the problems of drug use with greater resources for prevention, care and harm reduction with regard to public health and the social fabric.

"This reflection must be global in scope in order to be effective.... It must reach beyond law enforcement and judicial authorities and involve experts in public health, economists and educators, among other disciplines. But above all, it must be an innovative, intelligent reflection based on facts."

Read more:
'via Blog this'

No comments:

Post a Comment