1000+ leaders and activists sign a joint letter for UNGASS 2016

On the occasion of the UN Special Session of the General Assembly on Drugs (UNGASS 2016), the organization Drug Policy Alliance, brought together more than 1000 distinguised individuals from many countries (including Greece), including, among others, the former presidents of Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, Chile, Nigeria, Cape Verde, Switzerland and Netherlands, the former Prime Ministers of Greece, Hungary and Netherlands together with renowned academics, lawyers, clergy, Entrepreneurs, heretics, Celebrities and call for alternatives proposals against punitive policies to control psychoactive substances.

“Humankind cannot afford a 21st century drug policy as ineffective and counter-productive as the last century’s. A new global response to drugs is needed, grounded in science, compassion, health and human rights”, says the joint letter.

“The drug control regime that emerged during the last century has proven disastrous for global health, security and human rights. Focused overwhelmingly on criminalization and punishment, it created a vast illicit market that has enriched criminal organizations, corrupted governments, triggered explosive violence, distorted economic markets and undermined basic moral values.”

“Governments devoted disproportionate resources to repression at the expense of efforts to better the human condition. Tens of millions of people, mostly poor and racial and ethnic minorities, were incarcerated, mostly for low-level and non-violent drug law violations, with little if any benefit to public security. Problematic drug use and HIV/AIDS, hepatitis and other infectious diseases spread rapidly as prohibitionist laws, agencies and attitudes impeded harm reduction and other effective health policies.”

“The UN Special Session, which will take place April 19-21, is the first of its kind since 1998, when the UN’s illusory but official slogan was “A drug-free world – we can do it!”  The upcoming UNGASS was proposed in late 2012 by the Mexican government, with strong support from other Latin American governments.  Last year UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon issued a strong call-to-action, urging governments “to conduct a wide-ranging and open debate that considers all options.”  Today’s public letter to him was prompted in part by the obstacles to such debate within the confines of the United Nations”

You can read the full letter here

You can see the full list of signatories here: http://www.drugpolicy.org/ungass2016/full