United Nations Admits that Drug Legalization is Gaining Support

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For many years now, drug war supporters have relied on a political strategy of pretending that legalization isn’t a serious option. Only a crazy person would even consider such a thing, they claim, as exemplified last year by a statement from the UN drug czar that drug policy reformers are a bunch of "lunatics" who are "obviously on drugs."

Well, it looks like that's beginning to change. This year's World Drug Report 2009 from the UN Office on Drugs and Crime begins by dedicating its very first page to the idea of legalizing drugs.

Of late, there has been a limited but growing chorus among politicians, the press, and even in public opinion saying: drug control is not working. The broadcasting volume is still rising and the message spreading.

Much of this public debate is characterized by sweeping generalizations and simplistic solutions. Yet, the very heart of the discussion underlines the need to evaluate the effectiveness of the current approach.


What follows is an utterly fact-free attack on the legalization argument, relying on all the typical prohibitionist assumptions we've heard before: use will skyrocket, societies will be thrown into decay, and the decades of drug war progress we've supposedly made will be washed away in a raging torrent of death and despair.

It's annoying, to be sure, but it's equally beautiful to behold the sudden desperation and discomfort of the international drug war leadership. They now stand before us, stained and stigmatized by the grand and unambiguous failure of the policies upon which they once proudly placed their names.

It is truly a milestone for the drug policy reform movement that the drug war leaders of the world are now decidedly on the defensive.

Update: Pete Guither has more over at DrugWarRant

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Branding dissent as

Branding dissent as insanity...that scares me.

So the go on saying

So the go on saying "Addiction is a health condition and those affected by it should not be imprisoned"

...but, at the same time, they argue against legalization that

"any reduction in the cost of drug control (due to lower law enforcement expenditure) will be offset by much higher expenditure on public health"

Legalization?

Boy that is a tough argument! Drug legalization has strong points for both sides of the argument I suppose. It may not be true to say that the societies will probably not sink into decay. But it is true to say that with drug use also comes crimes related to use and health issues related to use. But that is also still true of alcohol that is now legal. I am not saying that I am for or against. I am just saying that this argument is just as sticky as say pro life/pro choice. It may be more of a moral issue and the two sides will never agree no matter what the outcome.

But honestly I think that it should remain illegal as its harm will still out do the good that legalization might bring.

re "legalization" post

It would be good if you would distinguish between cannabis and other illegal drugs. There is no basis for just lumping them together. Cannabis is far less dangerous than alcohol, when is the last time you heard of a cannabis related death?

alcohol kills brain cells

alcohol kills brain cells with abuse. cannabis does not augment the risk of schizophrenia, cannabis does not kill brain cells with abuse.

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