The so-called war on drugs has resulted in a large and disproportionate increase in detention and imprisonment for drug-related offences. Some States have gone well beyond what is required by the international drug control treaties in terms of criminalization and associated penalties, while others have demonstrated excessive zeal in applying the criminalization provisions of those treaties. These disproportionate actions have frequently resulted in widespread human rights violations leading to increased arbitrary detention. Association of the military with drug control efforts has aggravated the situation in several States and has frequently resulted in more and worse human rights violations and punitive outcomes that have not proven effective in reducing the incidence of drug-related offences. The war on drugs has also generated a culture of corruption within law enforcement bodies, particularly regarding payments made to avoid arrest or to affect the outcome of judicial proceedings. States that provide financial or technical assistance to other States, including for drug enforcement operations, should ensure that their assistance does not contribute to human rights violations.
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