The global “war on drugs” has been fought for 50 years, without preventing the long-term trend of increasing drug supply and use. Beyond this failure, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has identified many serious negative “unintended consequences” of the drug war – including the creation of a lucrative criminal market.

This criminal market has a range of economic implications, and stems from taking a punitive, enforcement-led approach that, by its nature, criminalises many users and places organised crime in control of the trade.

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