EU Think Tank Slams Global Drug Fight 3/26/04

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courtesy NORML News, http://www.norml.org

Vienna, Austria: Representatives from the Network of European Foundations (NEF) Comite de Sages and The Senlis Council criticized UN-sponsored drug prohibition policies at a symposium last week coinciding with the United Nations 47th Session of the Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

Speakers criticized criminal drug prohibition and enforcement policies as fueling drug-related crime, endangering international security, and sponsoring terrorism.

"The system [of criminal drug prohibition] is not working but [this] is not being debated at the UN; it is a taboo," said NEF member Sir Keith Morris, a former British ambassador to Colombia.

Former Interpol Secretary General Raymond Kendall said that the UN must "change its approach from repressive law enforcement" to one of harm reduction. "The United Nations in 1998 set itself the aim of a drug free world by 2008," he said. "We are halfway down the road to 2008 and there are more drugs than ever. So much for the idea we have made progress."

Canadian Senator Pierre Claude Nolin, who chaired a 2002 Senate committee that recommended regulating cannabis to those age 16 and older, said: "A drug free society has never existed in human history and will not exist in the near future... Sooner or later, governments around the world will have to, in the names of transparency and honesty, acknowledge this massive failure."

Other speakers at the conference included Eugene Oscapella of the Canadian Foundation on Drug Policy, Portuguese MP Vitalino Canas, and General Paulo Roberto Yog de Miranda Uch a, national anti-drug secretary for Brazil.

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