On 12th June, the West Africa Commission on Drugs will present strategies for governments and civil society alike in dealing with drugs across the region.

The report is the culmination of one and a half years of engagement by the Commission with national, regional and international parties including the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC).  It is informed by a series of background papers, drafted by leading experts from Africa and beyond.

In this report, the WACD describes the challenges that the region must confront – political, social and economic – and the policies it must adopt to prevent drug trafficking, production and consumption from undermining states and societies, and destroying lives. There is a preconception that drugs only pass through West Africa, from producer countries to the rich consumers in Europe and North America whereas the emerging production of ATS and the increasing consumption of these substances and of cannabis are both impacting on the lives of the people who live in the region.

It is hoped that the report will provoke an urgent and frank debate among political leaders and civil society in West Africa about the best way forward.

The WACD has been inspired by the ground-breaking work of the Global and Latin America Commissions on Drug Policy, which have dared to question long-established policies that have not worked in practice. All concerned must have the courage to change policies that no longer fit reality.

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