Friday, October 29, 2004

Interpol Chief calls for international drug policy reform

I'm going to stop making promises I can't keep dear readers, clearly I didn't make it back to this blog last night but it's not entirely my fault. Blogger has been glitchy as hell this week and doesn't always let me in to post. Meanwhile, since I'm in right now, here's hoping this makes it to the blog.

DRC Net has an interesting item in the newsletter this week featuring an op-ed by Raymond Kendall, former chief of Interpol who calls drug prohibition, "obsolete and dangerous" and said its continuation represented a missed opportunity for reform. Prohibition has failed to protect the world from drugs, he said, and Europe must take the lead in reforming the drug laws, particularly at the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on drugs in Vienna in 2008."

"Although I am not personally in favor of the legalization of drugs, the general feeling is that the opportunity has been missed to profoundly reform a dangerous and obsolete legal framework and replace it with a modern and effective policy," wrote Kendall, who headed the international police body from 1985 to 2000 and who remains its honorary head.

Drug prohibition simply does not work, Kendall pointed out. Despite decades of suppression efforts, "cannabis has become a common substance with high rates of consumption, sometimes more accessible than alcohol," he wrote, while the distribution of drugs like cocaine and ecstasy is steadily increasing despite the billions of dollars poured into the drug war.

Kendall calls for the European community to take the lead when the UN takes up the issue again in 08 in demanding the world body modernize their conventions to embrace far more effective 'harm reduction' methods.


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