Compiled by Students for Sensible Drug Policy with collaboration from Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, Students for Sensible Drug Policy UK, Youth Organisations for Drug Action, and YouthRIse

Recognizing our common goals of working towards evidence-based drug policies that reduce the harms of drug use and are grounded in human rights principles, including the right to health, the organizations listed above, working in informal coalition and representing thousands of youth in every region of the world, acknowledge the many impacts of drug use, drug markets, and drug control on our communities. Punitive drug policies have failed our generation and our society, impeding the development of young people and our full enjoyment of basic human rights. Governments typically justify their drug policies by invoking the need to protect young people. But we can speak for ourselves, and if policies are being implemented in our name, our voices must be heard.

Despite extensive efforts to reduce the consumption and supply of illicit substances, drug use and drug control policies continue to be major causes for concern, impacting the health and well-being of young people globally. While one of the main goals of drug policy has always been to protect the world’s youth, the voices of young people have often been absent from the debate. We therefore welcome the UN’s effort to provide a space for open debate around drug policy at the upcoming UNGASS, where SSDP and coalition partners are best suited to represent issues that directly affect youth populations.

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