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Monday, 28 March 2011

War on Drugs: Count the Costs - campaign launch

Original Source Written and Found @ Externalities

“Fifty Years of the War on Drugs; Time to Count the Costs and Explore the Alternatives
The War on Drugs: Count the Costs global campaign will be launched by NGOs from around the world at a side-event at the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) in Vienna … [on] Wednesday 23 March. See for more details. 
The War on Drugs: Count the Costs campaign will bring together interested parties from around the world, including NGOs, policy makers and others whose work is negatively impacted by international drug enforcement. Together they will call on governments and international agencies to meaningfully evaluate the unintended consequences of the war on drugs and explore evidence-based alternatives. The results of this campaign will be presented to the UN Commission on Narcotic Drugs in 2012.  Here is the full text of the call:
The War on Drugs - Count the Costs and Explore the Alternatives
The global “war on drugs” has been fought for 50 years, without preventing the long-term trend of increasing drug supply and use. Beyond this failure, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime has also identified the many serious ‘unintended negative consequences’ of the drug war. These costs result not from drug use itself, but from choosing a punitive enforcement-led approach that, by its nature, places control of the trade in the hands of organised crime, and criminalises many users. In the process this:
1.      Undermines international development and security, and fuels conflict
2.      Threatens public health, spreads disease and causes death
3.      Undermines human rights
4.      Promotes stigma and discrimination
5.      Creates crime and enriches criminals
6.      Causes deforestation and pollution
7.      Wastes billions on ineffective law enforcement
The “war on drugs” is a policy choice. There are other options that, at the very least, should be debated and explored using the best possible evidence and analysis. 
We all share the same goals – a safer, healthier and more just world.  
Therefore, we the undersigned [ex: add your name!], call upon world leaders and UN agencies to quantify the unintended negative consequences of the current approach to drugs, and assess the potential costs and benefits of alternative approaches.

The War on Drugs: Count the Costs campaign launch is backed by: International Drug Policy Consortium; International Harm Reduction Association; Eurasian Harm Reduction Network; Drug Policy Alliance (US); Espolea (Mexico); Release (UK); Transform Drug Policy Foundation (UK); Hungarian Civil Liberties Union; CuPIHD (Mexico); Transnational Institute (Netherlands); International Centre for Science in Drug Policy (Canada); New Zealand Drug Policy Foundation; Washington Office on Latin America.


  1. Will sign, nice one Outlaw for passing it on.

  2. I do celebrate your campaign calling for a cost-benefit analysis of the current drug prohibition regime and its alternatives. It will help people to understand that a regime seeking to legalise and regulate the production, distribution and consumption of drugs CANNOT be as destructive and corrosive — socially, economically and politically speaking — as the current prohibition regime is.

    Even those who believe that legalisation and regulation of drugs is evil will have no option but to accept that it is the lesser of two evils.

    Gart Valenc

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