In June 1998, the United Nations announced a 10-year strategy to achieve “measurable results” in the fight against drugs, including a “significant reduction” of the cultivation of cannabis, coca and opium poppy by the year 2008.
On March 10th, 2008, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs will meet in Vienna to review the results of this strategy.
In the past ten years, the war on drugs has failed – again. Consumption of drugs can cause problems, but prohibition of drugs causes disasters. Millions of people are criminalized, billions of euros are spent in a war that is ineffective and counterproductive. Efforts to reduce harmful and improve responsible use of drugs are actively thwarted by governments. Meanwhile, the drug market remains in the hands of organised crime, whose huge profits distort global economy and generate widespread corruption.
Drug policies should be a matter of public health, not of law enforcement. We ask the UN to establish the right of every adult citizen of the world to grow and possess natural plants for personal use and non-commercial purposes, using all technical equipment that is available for this. At the same time, individual countries should be allowed to experiment with drug policies that are not based on prohibition.
Vienna 2008 is the opportunity to send this urgent message to the United Nations. Please join us in Vienna.