[FWD: USMJP Listserv: Countries Re-Examine War on Drugs]

Sheree M. Krider

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: USMJP Listserv: Countries Re-Examine War on Drugs
From: Richard Lake <rlake@mapinc.org>
Date: Wed, March 11, 2009 11:31 am
To: usmjparty@drugsense.org

Newshawk: Herb
Pubdate: Wed, 11 Mar 2009
Source: Telegraph-Journal (Saint John, CN NK)
Page: A6
Copyright: 2009 Brunswick News Inc.
Contact: http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/onsite.php?page=contact
Website: http://telegraphjournal.canadaeast.com/
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/2878
Author: Jennifer Ditchburn, The Canadian Press
Cited: The Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/pot.htm (Marijuana)
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/hr.htm (Harm Reduction)


When Canadian cities like Vancouver become the setting for gang
warfare, when Mexico’s stability teeters because of drug violence and
the cartels infiltrate normally quiet American towns, global
policymakers start to wonder where they went wrong.

Representatives from Canada and 52 other countries will scrutinize
international narcotics policy beginning Wednesday at a major United
Nations conference in Vienna.

The declaration they agree to later this week will indicate whether
participants still favour a 10-year approach that focuses on
enforcement – the "war on drugs" – or on reducing the demand for drugs
and the harm they cause.

Camps have already formed in the conference hallways in Vienna, with
Canada somewhere in the middle.

Europe and Latin America arrived at the meetings with reports in hand
that declare the war on drugs ineffective.

The Latin American Commission on Drugs and Democracy said plainly that
police crackdowns have done nothing to slow the increase in production
and consumption.

They would like to see marijuana legalized as a first step, and for
the UN to see the drug problem as a public-health issue rather than
simply a criminal one.

The European Union is equally critical of current efforts to stem the
drug trade. They would like to see more focus on harm reduction.

On the other side, countries such as the United States, China and
Russia think the phrase harm reduction is too broad, and had it
removed from the draft text of the official declaration this week.


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