World Leaders Encourage Drug Legalization
Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan and other world leaders, including the former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Switzerland, are endorsing a new report that calls for a paradigm shift in global drug policy.
On Thursday, the former presidents of several countries, former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, former U.S. Fed Chairman Paul Volcker and other luminaries will release a new report calling the global “War On Drugs” a failure, and encouraging nations to pursue legalizing and regulating drugs as a way to stop the violence inherent in the illegal drug market.
The 24-page paper, by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, argues that the decades-old “global war on drugs has failed, with devastating consequences for individuals and societies around the world.”
“Political leaders and public figures should have the courage to articulate publicly what many of them acknowledge privately: that the evidence overwhelmingly demonstrates that repressive strategies will not solve the drug problem, and that the war on drugs has not, and cannot, be won,” the report said.
Neill Franklin, LEAP: “As a former narcotics cop on the streets, I saw how the prohibition approach not only doesn’t reduce drug abuse but how it causes violence and crime that affect all citizens and taxpayers, whether they use drugs or not”
Law Enforcement Against Prohbition (LEAP), a group of police, prosecutors and judges who have waged the “Drug War” on its front lines, is cheering the report and its conclusions.
“It’s no longer a question of whether legalizing drugs is a serious topic of debate for serious people,” said Neill Franklin, LEAP’s executive director and a 34-year veteran police officer from Baltimore, Maryland. “These former presidents and other international leaders have placed drug legalization squarely on the table as an important solution that policymakers need to consider.
”As a narcotics cop on the streets, I saw how the prohibition approach not only doesn’t reduce drug abuse but how it causes violence and crime that affect all citizens and taxpayers, whether they use drugs or not,” Franklin said.
The former Presidents of Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Switzerland, and the Prime Minister of Greece will be among the world leaders calling for a paradigm shift in global drug policy.
Some of the world leaders who signed on to the Global Commission on Drug Policy’s report will speak at a press conference and teleconference on Thursday:
When: Thursday, June 2, 11 a.m. (EST)
Where: The Waldorf Astoria Hotel, 301 Park Avenue, New York, N.Y. (Beekman Suite)
USA Telephone: 1-800-311-9404 (Password: Global Commission)
From Outside USA: 1-334-323-7224 (Password: Global Commission)
The full report will be available at http://www.globalcommissionondrugs.org.
(Those italicized will be at the press conference. Those speaking are italicized and underlined):
Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, Ghana
Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, president of the International Crisis Group, Canada
Richard Branson, entrepreneur, advocate for social causes, founder of the Virgin Group, cofounder of The Elders, United Kingdom
Fernando Henrique Cardoso, former President of Brazil (chair)
Marion Caspers-Merk, former State Secretary at the German Federal Ministry of Health
Maria Cattaui, Petroplus Holdings Board member, former Secretary-General of the International Chamber of Commerce, Switzerland
Ruth Dreifuss, former President of Switzerland and Minister of Home Affairs
Carlos Fuentes, writer and public intellectual, Mexico
César Gaviria, former President of Colombia
Asma Jahangir, human rights activist, former UN Special Rapporteur on Arbitrary, Extrajudicial and Summary Executions, Pakistan
Michel Kazatchkine, executive director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria , France
Mario Vargas Llosa, writer and public intellectual, Peru
George Papandreou, Prime Minister of Greece
George P. Shultz, former Secretary of State, United States (honorary chair)
Javier Solana, former European Union High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Spain
Thorvald Stoltenberg, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Norway
Paul Volcker, former Chairman of the United States Federal Reserve and of the Economic Recovery Board
John Whitehead, banker and civil servant, chair of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation, United States
Ernesto Zedillo, former President of Mexico