A new study has been released highlighting the combined/collective global failure of “the War on Drugs.” Not only does the data/information outline how an authoritarian approach to anti-drug policies has failed over the years, but it also goes on to explain why these same policies have actually had tremendous negative impacts on organized societies around the world at the same time – including global health, human rights, public safety and economic progress.
As a result, the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), the international group behind the report featured blow, is calling for major political reforms to international policy when it comes to drug abuse and drug enforcement, going just short of calling for an outright end to the War on Drugs itself. “This report is another nail in the coffin for the war on drugs,” said Ann Fordham, IDPC’s executive director of IDPC, in a statement. “The fact that governments and the UN do not see fit to properly evaluate the disastrous impact of the last ten years of drug policy is depressingly unsurprising.”
The report, entitled “Taking stock: A decade of drug policy,“ evaluates the impacts of drug policies worldwide over the course of the last decade, using data from the United Nations, peer-reviewed academic research, as well as a collection of grey literature from civil society.
What Did It Find?
The study concluded that drug enforcement policy has failed to decrease both drug consumption and production. Not only this, but these same failed polices have only made many countries, cities and communities less safe. At the same time, many countries, such as Afghanistan, have only seen opium production/distribution increase. In other countries such as the United States for example, the failed War on Drugs has only led to a self proclaimed Opioid epidemic/National emergency. Meanwhile, as a result of these same drug policies, the United States literally arrests more citizens per capita than any country on Earth.
“Instead of reducing the overall scale of the illegal drug market,” notes the executive summary (pdf), “overly punitive drug policies have often exacerbated violence, instability and corruption.”
Moreover, while global drug policies were specifically designed to reduce the spread/production of 3 major crops, opium poppy, coca, and cannabis, the study found that all 3 crops have only increased in production over the course of the last ten years. For example, the report estimates that opium yields are up 130% from this time in 2008, while coca production has also increased another 34%. While Cannabis figures were a little harder to calculate, given marijuana’s growing legal status all around the world over the last several years, it is safe to assume that Cannibus production has also increased.
“What we learn from the IDPC shadow report is compelling. Since governments started collecting data on drugs in the 1990s, the cultivation, consumption and illegal trafficking of drugs have reached record levels,” wrote Helen Clark, former Prime Minister of New Zealand and a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, in the report’s foreword. “Moreover,” she added, “current drug policies are a serious obstacle to other social and economic objectives and the ‘war on drugs’ has resulted in millions of people murdered, disappeared, or internally displaced.”
View Report In Its Entirety: