Thursday, March 31, 2016

'War on Drugs' has made no difference to number of users and actively harms public health, major study concludes

The five-decade long international “War on Drugs” started by US president Richard Nixon has harmed the public health and should be scrapped in favour of a process of decriminalisation, a major new report has concluded.

Anti-drug policies and laws have had “no measurable impact on supply or use” and cannot be justified on scientific or public health grounds, according to the authors of study commissioned by the Johns Hopkins Ivy League university and The Lancet.

The report presents “compelling evidence” that countries such as Portugal and the Czech Republic have decriminalised non-violent minor drug offences with positive results, including “public health benefits, cost savings, lower incarceration [rates] and no significant increase in problematic drug use”.

Urging action from countries such as the US and UK which still have highly strict drugs policies, the authors called on governments to consider “regulated markets” for cannabis like those in Uruguay and the US states of Washington, Colorado, Oregon and Alaska.

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