|Health: The First Principle of Drug Policy|
|The shaping of policy at UNODC (2002-2010)|
Posted: 18 March 2008
It is often forgotten that health is the first principle of drug policy. Improving security (against drug traffickers and dealers) and promoting development (to enable farmers to find sustainable alternatives to growing illicit crops) are necessary, but not sufficient, measures. Because even if you eliminate the world's entire supply of cannabis, coca, and opium, and even if you could seize all drugs in circulation, you would still have 25 million drug users looking for ways to satisfy their addiction. So the key to drug policy is reducing demand for drugs and treating addiction - and that is very much a health care issue.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 20 January 2011 11:08|
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|Into The Lion's Den|
On 7 December I made a speech to a rather unusual audience - the Drug Policy Alliance, most of whom are in favour of legalizing drugs. It was a rather raucous affair with a few boos but more applause than expected. Have a look:
|Disrupt criminal markets, not just the mafias High-level meeting of the UN General Assembly on transnational organized crime|
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
In the past quarter century, organized crime has gone global. It has reached macro-economic and armed dimensions to become a threat to the stability of nations. The report on The Globalization of Crime issued today by my office (the UN Office on Drugs and Crime) provides the first comprehensive assessment of global crime markets: drugs, arms, modern slaves, illicit resources, counterfeits, as well as maritime piracy and cyber-crime.
The threat is not just economic. The threat is strategic, as criminals today can influence elections, politicians and the military – in one word, they buy power.
Some governments are unable to resist, as they lack the resourcess. Some others would be able to contain the problem, but show a benign neglect -- and I have in mind some rich nations.