Article by Zach Johnson, Cannabis Training University
The Global Commission on Drug Policy, a panel of 22 world leaders associated with the United Nations concluded on Wednesday in a report that calls for the entire planet to tone down its drug enforcement away from incarceration models to rehabilitation models The 44 paged reportrecommended the suspension of all criminal and civil penalties for small time drug possession and, where applicable, the cease of the use of the death penalty for all drug related crimes.
The report also states that non-violent members of the black market drug trade should also be given more avenues of assistance without incarceration. This is in response to the reports conclusion that many of these low-level dealers are selling drugs “to alleviate their severe socio-economic marginalization” That only civil penalties be applied to dealers with no history of violence because of the cost of criminal penalties to incarcerate these individuals.
The report has been formed in response to the chronic social problem of mass incarceration along with the disparity in which minority males are incarcerated for drug related crime at a rate four times that of white males. On a global scale, it also aims to address the severity of certain countries handling of drug enforcement in which many hundreds are killed each year for something as trivial as having a joint found during a traffic stop. There were five main recommendations elaborated in the report. These changes, the panel hopes, will bring equity to how drug crimes are treated, as well as bring down the cost for countries that are still enforcing antiquated drug laws, some dating back to the 1800’s.
- States must abolish the death penalty for all drug-related offenses.
- States must end all penalties—both criminal and civil—for drug possession for personal use, and the cultivation of drugs for personal consumption.
- States must implement alternatives to punishment for all low-level, non-violent actors in the drug trade.
- UN member states must remove the penalization of drug possession as a treaty obligation under the international drug control system.
- States must eventually explore regulatory models for all illicit drugs and acknowledge this to be the logical next step in drug policy reform following decriminalization