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New report claims 'war on drugs' has "harmed public health"

It's another call for anti-drugs policies to be banished

  • Dave Turner
  • 29 March 2016

A new study has suggested the 'war on drugs' to be a failure.

Compiled by medical journal The Lancet and Johns Hopkins University, an Ivy League establishment, it points out that harsh laws and anti-drugs policies have had a negative effect on public health, even suggesting prison terms for minor drug offenders is a major contributor to HIV and and hepatitis C infection.

Taking aim at the United Kingdom and United States, the authors want a "regulated market" for cannabis, meaning personal use of the drug would be decriminalised, in a similar way to places such as Colorado.

Dr Chris Beyrer from John Hopkins said: “The global 'war on drugs' has harmed public health, human rights and development. “It's time for us to rethink our approach to global drug policies, and put scientific evidence and public health at the heart of drug policy discussions.”

Portugal decriminalised personal use of drugs such as weed, cocaine and heroin in 2001, with possession leading to the option of health care rather than being arrested, and the report writes “public health benefits, cost savings, lower incarceration [rates] and no significant increase in problematic drug use” have resulted from it.

This is yet another push for drug law changes, following arguments by former Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg, Richard Branson and the estimation that legalising cannabis in the UK could be worth £1 billion in taxes.

[Via: the Independent]

Dave Turner is Mixmag's Digital News Editor, follow him on Twitter

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