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The war on drugs has failed: It’s time for a new approach

Practises of criminalization and police repression have not attained the declared objective of eliminating drug use.Consumption and problematic use continue to rise. The War on Drugs has further created a range of social and health harms, including corruption, armed violence, mass incarceration and spread of epidemics such as HIV.

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There are alternatives to the war on drugs: Let’s support them.

Prevention, harm reduction and treatment must be the cornerstones of drug policies. That means a reorientation of policies and resources to social, education and health services in order to reduce the harms of the illicit drug trade and abuse.

Get drugs under control: It’s time to regulate cannabis

Governments should be encouraged to explore different models of Cannabis regulation to reduce crime and violence associated with the illicit trade. Besides securing access to medical cannabis, there is accumulated evidence to support that cannabis is less harmful than tobacco and alcohol which are legally available substances.

 

Stop incarceration now: Drug users are not criminals

Criminalization of people who use drugs is wasteful and counterproductive. It stigmatizes and harms key target populations and does not contribute to public health nor to reduce substance abuse. To end criminalization of drug users is a prerequisite for a health centered drug policy.

Health first: Caring, not punishment for drug users

The punitive enforcement model has been promoted as a way of protecting health, but has achieved the opposite. Risks for people who use drugs have been increased and new harms created, with the greatest burden being carried by the most vulnerable and marginalised populations.

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