The World Drug Report for 2013 was released this morning by the UNODC. This is actually a useful report in terms of all the international information it contains, but of course it is also a product of the UNODC, and so any commentary within tends to hew to the standard pro-drug-war rhetoric.
In the preface by Yury Fedotov, I found this paragraph absolutely stunning:
We have to admit that, globally, the demand for drugs has not been substantially reduced and that some challenges exist in the implementation of the drug control system, in the violence generated by trafficking in illicit drugs, in the fast evolving nature of new psychoactive substances, and in those national legislative measures which may result in a violation of human rights. The real issue is not to amend the Conventions, but to implement them according to their underlying spirit.
Read that again and realize the enormity of what he is saying.
In essence, he is admitting that the UNODC’s drug war regime has absolutely failed to accomplish anything, that it is unworkable, that it causes enormous violence, leads to development of unsafe drugs, and results in human rights abuses. However, that doesn’t mean we need to change anything about it — we’ve just got to figure out how to implement it better.
For an alternative World Drug Report that deals with the costs of the drug war, go to Count The Costs