And we say “No sh*t, Sherlock. Can we have an amen to that, please?”, but starting a news item that way wouldn’t be too correct literarily. Not that that ever stopped us before and thus we will stick with our intro sentence.
Yet, after unlikely millions of money have been spent in the research and subsequent report by the Global Commission on Drug Policy, we now all heard it from official sources, not from social media disgrace users and armchair critics, or low level bitter politicians who never got over not being reinvented to the well-earning lobby circles after time in an official position.
Nope, the Global Commission on Drug Policy said it was so, in their recently released report (PDF). The Commission, consisting of 14 former heads of states — some “de facto drugs specialists” having ruled the respective countries of Mexico, Colombia, and Portugal — called for scientifically based reclassification of marijuana, cannabis, cocaine, and heroin rather than the current status quo.
The Commission insisted that the reclassification is done based on harm by each drug, rather than the current “biased and inconsistent” international classification system. Ruth Dreifuss, former president of Switzerland and chair of the commission, called for reclassification with the World Health Organization (WHO) and scientific research at the core of the reviewed system, classifying the substances based on harm and benefits. This also includes that milder, less harmful drugs should benefit looser regulations also possibly including traditional, religious, and social use of substances.
A: all of the above. 👌
According to Dreifuss, several classified drugs have never been re-evaluated since more than 30 years — including cannabis, cocaine, and heroin — while others have never been actually evaluated.
Former Colombian president, Juan Manuel Santos, was harsher in communication with journalists at the presentation of the report:
“The scientific basis is non-existent”
“It was a political decision. According to the studies we’ve seen over past years, substances like cannabis are less harmful than alcohol. I come from Colombia, probably the country that has paid the highest price for the war on drugs.”
Santos said that after more than 50 years the War on Drugs has not been won — no sh*t, Sherlock — but also that it caused “more damage, more harm” to the world than a real world implementation of regulated sales and consumption would. Not to mention, of course, the tax revenue such would generate for each country involved.
The Commission recommended that The current way of evaluating, and classifying, drugs is changed and moved from the Commission on Narcotic Drugs (CND) to the WHO Expert Committee on Drug Dependence. Currently the CND has been in charge of drugs classification, as a multi-member states body within the U.N., since 1961. While the CND takes recommendations from the WHO ECD, its position within the U.N. makes the body potentially subject to political pressure and/or decisions.
Generally we approve of reports like the new Global Commission on Drugs Policy report. But, at the same time, we wonder what the true impact is of such global non-binding commissions which provide the participants with lots of occupation, probably also ample opulent dinners and travel opportunities, but generally they generate nothing more than few headlines in the media.
Whether there is additional value to have former heads of state involved as active participants to studies rests to be seen. But in a world where we are fighting the global prowess of marketing dollars and all-conquering conglomerates dominated by fiduciary duties, it is obvious that the system is flawed and the obligations of companies to shareholders are more important than real facts.
Additionally, in this era of globally polarized political division and populism, while satisfied with the official confirmation of what we’ve always known — and Big Tobacco was interested in cannabis since the ‘70s last century, complete with assistance of the Feds — we wonder whether nations even truly care about righting what is obviously wrong. It seems to me that the current heads of state within the U.N. have many other priorities - several of which involve firefighting against the vanities of the more outspoken populists in our current political world.
Meanwhile, people continue to die from prescription drugs — in other countries due to access to no legally prescribed painkillers because of the flawed classification system and too stringent laws not allowing scientific research into the benefits of substances. Substances which could potentially even replace antibiotics and counter antibiotics resilient superbugs.
And growing and smoking a plant is still illegal in more places than not. Contrarily to historic culture.