Global Commission Urges Decriminalization of Drug Use & Possession

As drug violence continues to rock countries around the world, a global commission – including former Latin American and European presidents, aims to decriminalize drug use and possession. As reported by the New York Times, a proposal submitted by the Global Commission on Drug Policy encourages governments to create regulated drug markets within their nations, legalizing a host of commonly trafficked narcotics. 

One of the commission members, Brazilian president Fernando Henrique Cardoso, said the coalition is suggesting the legalization of “as many of the drugs that are currently illegal as possible, with the understanding that some drugs may remain too dangerous to decriminalize.”

Coalition urges decriminalization of drug use & possession

According to a recently released report, the Global Commission on Drug Policy “advocates for an approach to drug policy that puts public health, community safety, human rights, and development at the center.” Political figures from around the globe are calling for experiments in legally regulated markets in illicit drugs, beginning with cannabis, coca leaf and some psychoactive substances.

Acknowledging the massive obstacles facing drug policy reform in the United States and abroad, the commission says that governments should be more strategic, anticipating how armed ‘crackdowns’ can intensify criminal violence and public insecurity without deterring drug production, trafficking or use.

Pathways to effective drug policy reform in the international community are underway, according to the commission, which suggests that governments actively pursue violent criminal gangs and stop imprisoning drug users – an act that is both wasteful and counterproductive. As part of their comprehensive approach to drug policy, the commission also encourages treatment of dependent drug users and finding alternatives to incarceration for non-violent participants in illegal drug markets such as farmers and couriers.

By legalizing drug use and regulating drug markets, the commission claims, governments can take control, reduce health harms and undermine organized violent crime.

As an example of drug regulation, the commission proposes that extremely dangerous narcotics, such as injectable heroin, are only prescribed by licensed health care professionals to people who are registered as drug dependent. This model has been shown to be very successful in Switzerland, where heroin clinics are run by qualified medical doctors.

In the U.S. today, 23 states have legalized medical marijuana and 17 states have decriminalized the personal possession of marijuana for non-medical use.

Also in the works are legislation reforms that would abolish compulsory minimum sentences for low-level drug offenders.

Legal protection from New York criminal defense lawyers

On July 7, 2014, New York joined 22 other states by legalizing the medical use of cannabis, though it is the only marijuana law in the U.S. where the state controls the pricing. While New York’s recent drug policy reforms have eased the penalties of conviction for some, drug crimes can still result in incarceration, steep fines and a criminal record.

The NY criminal defense attorneys of Edelman, Krasin & Jaye offer unwavering legal advocacy for those who have been accused of drug possession or sales, drawing upon years of expertise and investigative resources.

To set up a free and confidential consultation with a NYC drug charges attorney at our firm, please call 1-800-469-7429.

  1. New York Times, Coalition Urges Nations to Decriminalize Drugs and Drug Use
  2. Global Commission on Drugs, Taking Control: Pathways to Drug Policy that Work,