World Health Leader's Report to UN - End Marijuana Prohibition
Photo credit - UN Stands Against Marijuana
Many World leaders, prestigious medical groups and more than two hundred non-governmental organizations (NGO) are lobbying the United Nations to end their support of the international war on drugs and to decriminalize the use of Marijuana.
While the United Nations does not directly prohibit or regulate drugs, its member nations are pressured into conforming to the their goals and policies.
In April, 2016, the UN will hold a special session on drug policy, the largest get together of its kind in more than twenty years, anywhere. Prominent leaders, health officials, medical organizations, NGO's and others will be in attendance to address failed UN drug policies.
- American Civil Liberties Union
- AIDS foundation
- Drug Policy Alliance
- Harm Reduction Coalition
- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
- World Health Organization
- Obama Administration
- Richard Branson
- John Hopkins Health School
Report: Rework U.N. Drug Policy
In March of 2016, the Lancet & Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health released a report encouraging public health brain trust to rework its drug policy and put end to Cannabis prohibition, once and for all.
This report will be presented April 19, 2016 at the U.N.’s upcoming General Assembly special session on drug policy. The last U.N. special session on drug policy last convened in 1998, "united" under the unworkable naive theme; “A drug-free world - we can do it!”
Surveys worldwide suggests that the majority of leaders and citizens now view this new proposal to decriminalize drug use, to be much more humane, practical and pragmatic.
The Lancet-Hopkins-Bloomberg report represents a major paradigm shift in UN drug policy. The notion that all drug use is evil and dangerous has led to low-brow, heavy handed law enforcement policies. In addition, the report states that potentially dangerous drugs are really in the same category as fast foods, sugar, tobacco, and alcohol, and that social policy is really needed to reduce harm in all of these areas.
Key Points in the Report Relating to The War on Drugs
- Mass incarceration in the United States, with 31 million arrested for drug offenses
- Racial bias in arrest rates and sentencing in the US
- Massive loss of life in the Mexican drug war, so great that it reduced life expectancy in the country
- Money laundering and corruption of financial and government institutes
The commission calls for the US Federal government to change their research policies, which overwhelmingly fund anti-Cannabis research, while blocking efforts to explore the healing effects of substances like Cannabis.
“There is an urgent need to bring the best of non-ideologically-driven health science, social science, and policy analysis to the study of drugs and the potential for policy reform."
“We believe that the weight of evidence for the health and other harms of criminal markets and other consequences of prohibition,”and “is likely to lead more countries (and more U.S. states) to move gradually towards regulated drug markets — a direction we endorse.”
“The war on drugs and zero-tolerance policies that grew out of the prohibitionist consensus, are now being challenged on multiple fronts, including their health, human rights, and development impact.”
-- Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
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Richard Branson, Billionaire Issues Pro-Marijuana Statements to UN
The Global Commission on Drug Policy, which includes former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan and great entrepreneur Richard Branson, released a public statement in March, 2016, outlining steps that should and must be taken on Marijuana legalization.
- End criminalization, incarceration of drug users
- Abolish capital punishment for drug-related offenses
- Empower the World Health Organization (WHO) to schedule drugs based on a scientific evidence.
- Recommend harm reduction treatments for drug dependent people.
- Encourage governments to maximize policy to regulate drugs and dismember organized crime.
“Ultimately government-led regulation and prevention is the surest pathway to reducing the negative effects of drug use. Yet regulation is still prohibited by the UN Drug Conventions”
-- Richard Branson, et.al
An NGO alliance and others petitioned President Obama in a joint letter to push the UN to seriously examine the current drug control fiasco. Their movement's slogan is human rights yes, drug-wars no.
The NGO alliance states that U.S. drug policies, particularly Federal demonization and the prohibition of Marijuana are ”likely to face shrinking credibility internationally as legalization spreads to more states.”
According to a 2012 RAND report commissioned by the White House, the organization found that $100 billion dollars a year is being generated by illegal drug trade in America, with $40 billion coming from Marijuana.
Further Reading - World Drug Policy