The Commission on Narcotic Drugs' censorship of a representative from the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention sets a first and dangerous precedent legitimising ongoing frictions between drug control and human rights agendas.
Despite some progress, in most parts of the world, governments remain wedded to draconian policies that continue to have catastrophic impact on communities and have resoundingly failed in their stated purpose of eradicating illicit drug markets.
The IDPC Principles for the Legal Regulation of Cannabis make clear that the legal regulation of cannabis must include a series of comprehensive interventions to ensure compliance with human rights and social justice goals.
Following the release of the UN World Drug Report, IDPC notes with concern that the UNODC is still unable to acknowledge the failure of decades of drug policies based on prohibition and punishment, and how these approaches fuel systemic human rights abuses such as racism, police violence and state-sponsored killing campaigns.
As a result of stigma and criminalisation people who use drugs face extraordinary barriers to accessing health care, and experience or endure higher rates of poverty, unemployment and homelessness as well as underlying health conditions.
A new web-tool shows that 49 countries and jurisdictions across the world have adopted some form of decriminalisation for drug use and possession for personal use. Experts say the number of jurisdictions turning to this policy option is likely to increase in the coming years.