In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared the beginning of the US-led war on drugs. Over forty years later, the illegal narcotics trade is worth an estimated $332 billion, costs law enforcement an estimated $100 billion per annum and has seen an increase in users worldwide from 203 million in 2008 to 243 million in 2012. Is the war on drugs failing?

As countries consider their policy approaches ahead of the expected UN General Assembly Special Session in 2016, Ruth Dreifuss, a member of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, will present the approach to drugs policy implemented in Switzerland - based on public health rather than criminalization.

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