In this first report of this decade, the Global Commission on Drug Policy outlines how the current international drug control regime works for the benefit of transnational organized crime. It highlights how years of repressive policies targeted at nonviolent drug offenders have resulted in mass incarceration and produced countless adverse impacts on public health, the rule of law, and social cohesion, whilst at the same time reinforcing criminal elites.
The report argues that the top layers of criminal organizations must be disempowered, through policy responses and political will. It provides implementable recommendations for the replacement of the current policy of targeting non-violent drug offenders and resorting to mass incarceration. Law enforcement must focus on the most dangerous and protected actors and primary drivers of the corruption, violence, and chaos around illegal drug markets.
The control of psychoactive substances in a rational and efficient way must be centered on people and their needs, and on a repressive approach against criminal elites who benefit from the illegal drug markets’ proceeds, and have access to high-level networks, financial and legal support as needed. Only responsible legal regulation of currently prohibited drugs, with careful implementation, has the potential to disrupt criminal organizations and deprive them of their most lucrative sources of income.
The report contains research on the prerequisites for a successful transition towards the reform of the outdated ideology-based international drug control regime, and provides cutting-edge recommendations on how to ensure that international criminal organizations are effectively disempowered by the transition towards a legally regulated drug market under the control of governments.