The United Nations’ (UN’s) global War on Drugs has been an unqualified failure, doing absolutely nothing to dent the supply of illicit drugs while leaving a trail of human rights violations in its wake, according to a damning new report made available via CNN.
Begun in 2009, the UN’s War on Drugs had hoped to eliminate the global drug market by 2019. 2019 is just around the corner, and the global supply of illegal drugs remains as robust as it’s ever been, according to the International Drug Policy Consortium (IDPC) report. Meanwhile, human rights across the globe have been curtailed in the name of the War on Drugs, while the health, security, and development of several nations have been stalled or even jeopardized in the name of prosecuting the drug war.
In Mexico, for example, one of the nations hardest hit by the drug trade, violent drug cartels rule daily life in some places. In 2017 alone, 31,174 people were murdered in drug-related violence, an increase of 27 percent over the previous year. Meanwhile, mass incarceration has led to dangerously-overcrowded prisons, where one in five inmates are there for drug-related crimes, many for personal possession.
Over in the Philippines, at least 27,000 people are believed to have been murdered over the past 10 years in extra-judicial killings, simply for being suspected of being part of the drug trade.
Even in developed, First World nations like the U.S., the drug war has left a trail of damage. The United States has more people in prisons than in all of the rest of the world combined, according to a July CNN report, and nearly half of all occupants of federal prisons are there on drug-related crimes.
Despite mass incarceration, extra-judicial killings of suspected drug users/traffickers, and even legally-sanctioned executions of convicted drug criminals, the drug supply is no weaker than it was in 2009, and addiction rates are climbing.
Ann Fordham, the Executive Director of IDPC, said that this report should end all doubt about the failure of the War on Drugs.
“This report is another nail in the coffin for the war on drugs.”
Unfortunately, says Fordham, the report is unlikely to have its intended effect. Governments the world over, and the UN specifically, will continue to try to prosecute the War on Drugs for at least the next 10 years.
“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.”
Meanwhile, at least one country has recently scaled back its war on drugs, however slightly: Canada recently became only the second country in the world to legalize cannabis.