Over 1,000 World Leaders, Celebrities, and Cops Take a Stand — Call to End “Disastrous” Drug War

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Matt Agorist | The Free Thought Project

New York, NY — As the 2016 United Nations General Assembly Special Session (UNGASS) gets ready to convene a special session in New York to address the world’s drug problem, more than a thousand leaders from around the world have called to end the War on Drugs.

A letter, signed by , politicians, world leaders, celebrities, law enforcement, and activists has been addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging him to set the stage “for real reform of global drug control policy.”





According to Drug Policy Alliance, the unprecedented list of signatories includes a range of people from Senators Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Bernie Sanders to businessmen Warren Buffett, George Soros, Richard Branson, Barry Diller, actors Michael Douglas and Woody Harrelson, Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, singers John Legend and Mary J. Blige, activists Reverend Jesse Jackson, Gloria Steinem and Michelle Alexander, as well as distinguished legislators, cabinet ministers, and former UN officials.

The letter held no punches when calling out the horrid nature of the drug war and the corruption it has led to throughout all levels of government.

The drug control regime that emerged during the last century has proven disastrous for global health, security and human rights.  Focused overwhelmingly on criminalization and punishment, it created a vast illicit market that has enriched criminal organizations, corrupted governments, triggered explosive violence, distorted economic markets and undermined basic moral values.


Thanks to the black market trade of drugs, pushed into dark alleys, by a system of oppression and prohibition, drug peddling violent gangs now plague places like Chicago, New York, and Detroit.

Democrats blame guns for the violence while Republicans blame gun control. Meanwhile, both sides are missing the giant pink elephant in the living room.

At the center of this tragic violence plaguing American streets is a giant Leviathan which lays waste to all lives it comes across, it’s called the War on Drugs.

The letter goes on to address the militarized police state that has risen as a result of the drug war.

Governments devoted disproportionate resources to repression at the expense of efforts to better the human condition.  Tens of millions of people, mostly poor and racial and ethnic minorities, were incarcerated, mostly for low-level and non-violent drug law violations, with little if any benefit to public security. Problematic drug use and HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other infectious diseases spread rapidly as prohibitionist laws, agencies and attitudes impeded harm reduction and other effective health policies.





We’ve seen police departments turn from Andy Griffith to storm troopers armed with MRAPs tearing down entire houses, throwing grenades into the cribs of babies, and stripping the rights away from hundreds of millions of people — for what?

“Humankind cannot afford a 21st century drug policy as ineffective and counter-productive as the last century’s.”

The fact that celebrities, world leaders, and law enforcement officers are now unafraid of taking this stand is heartening, to say the least. A mere five years ago, and talk like this would have been met with ridicule and contempt. But the times are changing.

The UN special session is historic as the last one to take place was in 1998 and its mission was, ironically, the exact opposite of this one. The slogan for the 1998 session was, “A drug-free world – we can do it!”

After nearly two decades of violence and an increase in drug use, these people are finally figuring it out.

The realization and awakening to the fact that society cannot treat drug problems with government violence cannot happen fast enough. Even though people around the world are waking up to the war on drugs, every minute of every day, someone is kidnapped, caged, or killed for possessing them.





When drugs are legalized, gang violence drops — drastically. Not only does it have a huge effect on the localized gangs in America, but the legalization of drugs is crippling to the violent foreign drug cartels too. 

Until Americans educate themselves on the cause of this violence, uninformed and corrupt lawmakers will continue to focus on controlling the symptoms. 

We will see more senseless killings and more innocent lives stripped of opportunity by getting entangled in the system.

The solution is staring us in the face and the brave signatories on this letter know it; End the war on drugs.

In 2001, Portugal decriminalized all drugs and opened up clean injection facilities for addicts to utilize. These facilities offer clean needles, which has stopped the spread of disease. Users are also monitored by medical staff, which has stopped drug overdoses. Portugal has cut their country’s needle drug use in half since they changed their drug policies. They went from having the worst heroin problem in Europe, to having one of the lowest.

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No one is claiming that it will be easy, but the science is there to support this move. Now all we need is for the masses to understand that prohibition is immoral and causes far more problems than it ostensibly prevents. Please share this article with your friends and family so that they may know the history of this unethical and vile — war on people.

Below is the letter in its entirety.


 

April 14, 2016

Mr. Ban Ki-moon

Secretary General

United Nations

Dear Secretary General,

With the United Nations General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS) fast approaching in New York, we seek your enlightened leadership in calling for reform of global drug control policies.

The drug control regime that emerged during the last century has proven disastrous for global health, security and human rights.  Focused overwhelmingly on criminalization and punishment, it created a vast illicit market that has enriched criminal organizations, corrupted governments, triggered explosive violence, distorted economic markets and undermined basic moral values.

Governments devoted disproportionate resources to repression at the expense of efforts to better the human condition.  Tens of millions of people, mostly poor and racial and ethnic minorities, were incarcerated, mostly for low-level and non-violent drug law violations, with little if any benefit to public security. Problematic drug use and HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other infectious diseases spread rapidly as prohibitionist laws, agencies and attitudes impeded harm reduction and other effective health policies.

Humankind cannot afford a 21 st century drug policy as ineffective and counter-productive as the last century’s.  A new global response to drugs is needed, grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights.

The role of criminalization and criminal justice must be limited to the extent truly required to protect health and safety.  Leadership must come from those who recognize that psychoactive drug use is first and foremost a matter of health.  Drug control efforts must never do more harm than good, or cause more harm than drug misuse itself.

We are heartened by positive developments around the world since the United Nations last convened a special session in 1998.  Evidence-based harm reduction programs to contain the spread of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, treat addiction and reduce drug-related criminality are now underway in almost one hundred countries.

A growing number of city, state and national governments no longer treat drug use and possession as crimes.  Some are beginning to legally regulate cannabis for medical and even non-medical purposes. Many more recognize the need to make essential medicines readily available, especially for pain and palliative care in lower income countries.  But far greater and more systemic reforms are essential.

We were encouraged last year, Mr. Secretary General, when you urged governments to use the UNGASS opportunity “to conduct a wide-ranging and open debate that considers all options.”  This, by and large, has not happened – at least within the confines of the United Nations.  Your leadership is now required to ensure that the seeds of reform are nourished, not discarded, and that the stage is set for real reform of global drug control policy.

 

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 1614 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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  • Doug McGinn

    Quite frankly i dont give a fucking shit about the United Nations and i dont give a fuck what other countries do. If theres an issue in the United States it is the people who decide what is to be done via ballots and congress not the united nations. Why are we allowing our elected officials to circumvent our constitution by taking our issues to this treasonous unelected body of people? Why is this organization even on the shores of this Country? Wake the fuck up!!!

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