Good article at Salon

Many years ago, I first discovered Salon.com because of the powerful series of articles by Daniel Forbes exposing the government’s efforts to subvert popular culture with anti-drug advertisements. It was partly because of that that I decided to start my blog originally at SalonBlogs. Recent years have not been so great there, with a lot of heavily partisan reporting tending to dominate.

But this is a very good article about the repercussions of the controversial U.N. report: Censored UN paper calling for decriminalization marks beginning of the end of drug war as we knew it by Daniel Denvir.

Recently, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime quietly circulated a remarkable document not only calling “decriminalising drug use and possession for personal consumption…consistent with international drug control conventions” but stating that doing so “may be required to meet obligations under international human rights law.”

The paper’s language was sober but its critique of drug criminalization devastating, noting that a law-and-order approach to drug use “contributed to public health problems and induced negative consequences for safety, security, and human rights,” pointing to the limitation on access to clean needles and the resulting spread of HIV and hepatitis C, overdoses, vulnerability to physical and sexual abuse and, of course, incarceration, which disproportionately impacts poor and minority people. […]

Whether the paper gets released or not, however, is immaterial to its striking conclusions, which are carefully grounded in international law: the UN’s global drug war arm conceded not only that criminalization was a mistake but also that it violates human rights.

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