For years, I’ve been on a mission to help end the so-called war on drugs, an epic failure of global and national drug policies that has led to the loss of countless lives, wasted billions in taxpayer funds and continues to needlessly criminalize millions of people - often just for the possession of small amounts of illicit drugs for personal use.
This relentless pursuit of a drug-free world has done absolutely nothing to stem the global flow of drugs, to curb supply or reduce demand in any noticeable fashion. Drugs are all around us. Our communities are not one bit safer, and our children have greater access to illicit substances than at any point in the last 50 years.
One look at Mexico and Colombia will suffice to understand how the futility of the drug war has exacerbated a vicious cycle of violence that has created more casualties than drug use itself. But the problem is truly global. Year after year, we cede control of a vast, illicit drug market – equal in size to the global textile trade – to criminal organisations with no regard for public health or safety. It’s a deadly business turning over more than 300 billion dollars annually, remarkably capable of escaping intervention and fighting back. No matter what governments throw at it – from blunt force to harsh sentencing – many don’t seem to understand that the illegal drug trade in all its facets is a renewable resource, an indomitable regenerative force driven by nearly unmatched growth potential.
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