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World Drug Report

The World Drug Report for 2013 was released this morning by the UNODC. This is actually a useful report in terms of all the international information it contains, but of course it is also a product of the UNODC, and so any commentary within tends to hew to the standard pro-drug-war rhetoric.

In the preface by Yury Fedotov, I found this paragraph absolutely stunning:

We have to admit that, globally, the demand for drugs has not been substantially reduced and that some challenges exist in the implementation of the drug control system, in the violence generated by trafficking in illicit drugs, in the fast evolving nature of new psychoactive substances, and in those national legislative measures which may result in a violation of human rights. The real issue is not to amend the Conventions, but to implement them according to their underlying spirit.

Read that again and realize the enormity of what he is saying.

In essence, he is admitting that the UNODC’s drug war regime has absolutely failed to accomplish anything, that it is unworkable, that it causes enormous violence, leads to development of unsafe drugs, and results in human rights abuses. However, that doesn’t mean we need to change anything about it — we’ve just got to figure out how to implement it better.

Wow.

For an alternative World Drug Report that deals with the costs of the drug war, go to Count The Costs

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10 comments to World Drug Report

  • Yury Fedotov,

    By your own admission (whether you acknowledge it or not) Prohibition and the War on Drugs is a resounding failure. So, if you are in a hole, is it not time to stop digging? Under which circumstances, Mr Fedotov, will you be prepared to advocate ending Prohibition? Is there a tipping point? Which is it? Please, tell us!

    Gart Valenc
    Twitter: @gartvalenc

  • Francis

    So… decades of unrelenting, unmitigated, complete and utter policy failure, policy failure that has destroyed millions of lives and cost us trillions of dollars and a huge chunk of our civil liberties, that equals “some challenges exist”? Well, I suppose you gotta love an optimist.

  • primus

    There is no ‘tipping point’ in the prohibitionists’ minds. When one of them makes a statement about the harms of drugs being the reason for prohibition, ask them whether, if that ‘fact’ were proven false, they would change their position. Inevitably they will trot out another talking point, whereupon you ask them the same question; If both of your points were proven incorrect would you change your position? Keep going until they run out of ammo. Almost all will still say no. A closed mind is a waste.

    • Prohibitionists are a very peculiar species:

      If drug violence decreases, WarOnDrugs is working; but if it increases…WarOnDrugs is working, too!

      If drug use increases, they call for WarOnDrugs; but if it decreases…they call for WarOnDrugs, too

      If drug seizures increase, WarOnDrugs is a success; but if they decrease…WarOnDrugs is a success, too!

      Gart Valenc
      Twitter: @gartvalenc

  • lombar

    I think the distinction that the war on drugs is failing it’s *stated* goals. However it has been successful in destroying privacy, eliminating voters, reducing civil rights, filling private prisons, and feeding a river of corrupt cash right to the top via the banks. I half suspect that the leaders are so intransigent about ending prohibition because it props up the broken capitalist system. Without the illegal money, the banks have no liquid assets, the 1% sure are not distributing their wealth…

    • claygooding

      True,,the cartels have become so rich they are players in the world money market,,,they have all the cash and banks have all cash transfers and loan/lease contracts for legitimate businesses.
      They are a world power now and can buy the same equipment our government is using to fight them.
      Every time I hear someone mention the unpaid Miranda Act from a decade ago I would shiver with mirth that the drug warriors were claiming they were helping Mexico with 4 billion in aid over a 5 year period to fight a criminal enterprise that was feeding the people and making 40 times as much cash per year.
      I am not a military strategist but that looks more like a supporting effort than an opposition to the drug trafficking.