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The British Medical Journal: "The war on drugs has failed"

Another high-profile call for change

  • Dave Turner
  • 17 November 2016

It doesn't come as a shock that the British Medical Journal is calling for drug reform, joining the likes of Richard Branson as those who deem the war on drugs a failure and want illicit drugs to be legalised.

In a new editorial titled 'The war on drugs has failed: doctors should lead calls for drug policy reform', the BMJ states the promotion of health should be key in the approach to drugs.

"Health should be at the centre of this debate and so, therefore, should healthcare professionals. Doctors are trusted and influential and can bring a rational and humane dimension to ideology and populist rhetoric about being tough on crime.

"Doctors and their leaders have ethical responsibilities to champion individual and public health, human rights, and dignity and to speak out where health and humanity are being systemically degraded. Change is coming, and doctors should use their authority to lead calls for pragmatic reform informed by science and ethics."

With the United Nations prohibition currently in place, the journal claims at least $100 billion is spent annually on criminalising users, producers, dealers and traffickers, also encouraging less safe consumption leading to "epidemics" of HIV and hepatitis C infection.

The British Medical Association has handed responsibility of drug legislation to the Department of Health, focusing on treatment instead of criminalisation.

Earlier this year, Ivy League establishment Johns Hopkins University pointed out that public health had suffered due to the current laws.

Check out our feature on Silk Road and the digital drug trade here.

[Photo: MDMA Team]

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

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