The Global Commission on Drug Policy has called on all governments to end the criminalization of marijuana and other controlled substances. They challenge political leaders and public figures to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately. The report states it is clear that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem, and that the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won.
The commission states that drug users do no harm to others. They urge that the focus be shifted from punishment to treatment.
The commission consists of nineteen members. They include former U.K. business mogul Richard Branson ,U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former U.S. official George P. Schultz and former presidents from Mexico, Brazil and Colombia. Others members are writers Carlos Fuentes and Mario Vargas Llosa.
Instead of punishing users who the report says “do no harm to others,” the commission argues that governments should end criminalization of drug use, experiment with legal models that would undermine organized crime syndicates and offer health and treatment services
The United States is one of the countries targeted by the commission. One 2012 presidential candidate, former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson released a statement applauding the report.
Johnson said, “The Global Commission on Drug Policy got it right. When credible and thoughtful leaders from such a broad political and policy spectrum unite to declare the War on Drugs a failure, it is time for policy makers in the U.S. to pay attention.”
The global advocacy organization Avaaz, which has nine million members, will present a petition in support of the commission’s recommendations to UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon. Transform, a drug policy foundation that consults with the UN says this is a watershed moment.
Advocates say legalization would free up police resources, reduce crime and improve public health.