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December 1, 2013
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This is a very positive sign…

Leaked paper reveals UN split over war on drugs

Major international divisions over the global “war on drugs” have been revealed in a leaked draft of a UN document setting out the organisation’s long-term strategy for combating illicit narcotics.

The draft, written in September and seen by the Observer, shows there are serious and entrenched divisions over the longstanding US-led policy promoting prohibition as an exclusive solution to the problem.

Instead, a number of countries are pushing for the “war on drugs” to be seen in a different light, which places greater emphasis on treating drug consumption as a public health problem, rather than a criminal justice matter.

It is rare for such a document to leak. Normally only the final agreed version is published once all differences between UN member states have been removed.

What’s telling is not only the divisions in the early draft, but the fact that there was a leak. Usually, drug policy reps from countries want to show a united front to the world. Somebody was willing to cause a stir.

And in reading the article, it’s fascinating that there quite a range of countries objecting to drug war business as usual for a number of reasons.

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Pete Guither is the editor of drugwarrant.com

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