West Africa can look forward with optimism. Civil wars have receded, democracy has gained ground and our economies are growing. But a destructive new threat is jeopardizing this progress: with local collusion, international drug cartels are undermining our countries and communities, and devastating lives.

After looking at the evidence, consulting experts from the region and around the world, and visiting some of the most affected countries and communities in West Africa, the West African Commission on Drugs have reached a number of conclusions – detailed in this report – about how we should tackle the problems of drug trafficking and consumption.

The Commissioners have concluded that drug use must be regarded primarily as a public health problem. Drug users need help, not punishment.

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