According to a report by the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC), the United Nations’ drug strategy of the past decade has been a failure. According to CNN, the IDPC has called for a rethinking of the global policy on drugs.
The report says that UN efforts to eliminate illegal drugs through a “war on drugs” has not had much effect on global supply, but it has had negative effects on health, human rights, security and development.
Drug related deaths have increased by 145% over the last ten years. In 2017 alone, there were over 71,000 overdose deaths in the U.S.
The IDPC is asking that the UN General Assembly Special Session on Drugs consider a different approach to their narcotics strategy for the next ten years.
"This report is another nail in the coffin for the war on drugs," said Ann Fordham, the Executive Director of IDPC. "The fact that governments and the UN do not see fit to properly evaluate the disastrous impact of the last ten years of drug policy is depressingly unsurprising. Governments will meet next March at the UN and will likely rubber-stamp more of the same for the next decade in drug policy. This would be a gross dereliction of duty and a recipe for more blood spilled in the name of drug control."
Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the UN Secretary-General, responded to CNN's Richard Richard.
"Obviously, there have been significant successes and failures in dealing with the problem of drug trafficking, and we've made that clear over the many remarks we've made about the drug problem each year," he said. The UN Office on Drugs and Crime is the foremost agency in the United Nations that deals with this issue. They continue to deal with the problem. It's clear from UNODC's work that they don't see the efforts as a failure so much as they see it as something, a task which is incomplete. And ultimately, what they are trying to do and what we will continue to press nations to do is have all countries work together to deal with this problem."
The "policy of criminalizing drug use has also resulted in mass incarceration," according to the report. 1 in 5 prisoners are currently serving time for drug related charges.
In response, Canada recently became the first country in the G7 group to legalize recreational marijuana.