Global Commission on Drug PolicyGlobal Commission on Drug Policy

Global Commission on Drug Policy

The purpose of The Global Commission on Drug Policy is to bring to the international level an informed, science-based discussion about humane and effective ways to reduce the harm caused by drugs to people and societies.

Persuaded that the association between drug trade, violence and corruption was a threat to democracy in Latin America, the Commission reviewed the current ‘war on drugs’ policies and opened a public debate about an issue that tends to be surrounded by fear and misinformation.

The Global Commission on Drug Policy was represented by Thorvald Stoltenberg and Richard Branson.

Richard NixonRichard Nixon
The war on drugs has failed

The global war on drugs has failed. When the United Nations Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs came into being 50 years ago, and when President Nixon launched the US government’s war on drugs 40 years ago, policymakers believed that harsh law enforcement action against those involved in drug production, distribution and use would lead to an ever-diminishing market in controlled drugs such as heroin, cocaine and cannabis, and the eventual achievement of a ‘drug free world’.

Hemp fields under police surveilanceHemp fields under police surveilance
Illegal drug market

In practice, the global scale of illegal drug markets – largely controlled by organised crime – has grown dramatically over this period. While accurate estimates of global consumption across the entire 50-year period are not available, an analysis of the last 10 years alone shows a large and growing market.

Global Commission on Drug PolicyGlobal Commission on Drug Policy
Health and social challenges to be managed

In spite of the increasing evidence that current policies are not achieving their objectives, most policymaking bodies at the national and international level have tended to avoid open scrutiny or debate on alternatives. This lack of leadership on drug policy has prompted the establishment of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, leading them to their view that the time is now right for a serious, comprehensive and wide-ranging review of strategies to respond to the drug phenomenon. The starting point for this review is the recognition of the global drug problem as a set of interlinked health and social challenges to be managed, rather than a war to be won.