Jimmy Carter adds his voice to calls for ending the drug war

In an op-ed in the New York Times, former President Jimmy Carter called on the US to implement the recommendations of the Global Commission on Drug Policy to abandon the “war on drugs.” The Commission’s primary recommendations are to substitute treatment for imprisonment for people who use drugs but do no harm to others, and to concentrate more coordinated international effort on combating violent criminal organizations rather than nonviolent, low-level offenders, Carter writes. 

Carter notes that the shift in US policy under Reagan away from treatment towards efforts to reduce foreign cultivation through armed force has resulted in a terrible escalation in drug-related violence, corruption and gross violations of human rights in a growing number of Latin American countries.

The Global Commission on Drug Policy presented the following summary of their recommendations:

  • End the criminalization, marginalization and stigmatization of people who use drugs but who do no harm to others.
  • Encourage experimentation by governments with models of legal regulation of drugs (especially cannabis) to undermine the power of organized crime and safeguard the health and security of their citizens.
  • Ensure that a variety of treatment modalities are available – including not just methadone and buprenorphine treatment but also the heroin-assisted treatment programs that have proven successful in many European countries and Canada.
  • Apply human rights and harm reduction principles and policies both to people who use drugs as well as those involved in the lower ends of illegal drug markets such as farmers, couriers and petty sellers.

For the full report see: http://www.globalcommissionondrugs.org/Media.

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